increases in minimum wage for migrant workers australia
As part of overhauling what the government described on Thursday as a broken immigration system that encourages exploitation and favors luring in low-paid workers over addressing critical skill shortages, Australia will end a decade-long freeze on the minimum wage for skilled migrant workers.
What the minister said on the , Increases In Minimum Wage For Migrant Workers in Australia
Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil stated, “What has emerged is a system where it is increasingly easy for migrants to come to Australia in search of a low-paying job, but increasingly difficult for migrants with the skills that we desperately need.” Australia has a high rate of exploitation in part because we have permitted low-wage migration programs to operate covertly.
Within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Australia has long had one of the highest immigration rates. However, the migrant workforce, which once settled permanently, is now more transient.
A previous administration had frozen the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold at 53,900 Australian dollars ($35,600) annually since 2013. O’Neil stated that a new minimum wage of AU$ 70,000 ($46,300) would be effective as of July 1.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the government claimed that “around 90% of all full-time jobs in Australia are now paid more than the current TSMIT, undermining Australia’s skilled migration system.”
According to O’Neil, the Australian economy was “stuck in a productivity rut” and migrant workers could help.
By the end of the year, she said, all temporary skilled workers in Australia—many of whom had turned into “permanently temporary migrants”—would have more transparent paths to obtaining permanent residency.
Speaking at the National Press Club, O’Niel criticized the migration system implemented by the previous administration, which ruled for nine years until May 2022, citing outdated preferred occupation lists that no longer take the needs of the economy or emerging technology industries into account.
She claimed the migration system had been treated with “truly breathtaking neglect” for the past ten years. It is dysfunctional, failing both our businesses and the migrants themselves. And perhaps most significantly, it is failing Australians.
In November, O’Neil ordered a review of Australia’s immigration policy, which revealed 1.8 million temporary migrants were residing among the country’s 26 million citizens.
According to the review, “Maintaining a high percentage of temporary residents without a path to citizenship is not in Australia’s national interest as it threatens our democratic resilience and social cohesion.”
As the country struggles with labor and skill shortages, the government increased its annual cap on permanent immigration in September to 195,000, an increase of 35,000. The current fiscal year ends on June 30.
3.5% was Australia’s unemployment rate in March, which many people view as the point of maximum employment.