Do I Get Paid Less Because I Come From Overseas? - ACTU Australian Unions

Do I Get Paid Less Because I Come From Overseas?

ANONYMOUS I work on a plant farm. My friend at work is paid more than me. I asked my boss and he said it is because he is a citizen. Is this true?


Hello. Under Australian law every employee should be paid no less than the amount that is set down for their age and classification in the Award or Agreement which covers their job.  It doesn’t matter whether you were born in Australia or overseas; if you are an Australian citizen or not. In the same way you have just as much right to a safe workplace and to be paid on time – every time - as anyone who has lived in Australia all their life.  If you are being treated differently at work because of where you were born then your boss is doing something very wrong and there are laws in place which mean there is something which can be done.  Are there other people you’re working with who are also being paid less because they come from another country?

Do you belong to a union?  If you do then you need to talk to them as soon as you can about what’s going on. If you don’t belong to a union please call us on 1300 486 466. We will be able to give you some information about what you should be paid and what your rights are. We can also give you some information to help you chase up any money you might be owed. Best of all we will be able to help you find the right union for your job and if you give us your permission let them know what is happening at your workplace. Don’t worry, your boss won’t know you’ve called us. Anything you tell us will be confidential. Our toll free number is 1300 486 466 or you might prefer to fill out our enquiry form  

I hope we speak to you soon.