Team to investigate 'working holiday' visas in Gympie
MEMBERS of the Fair Work Ombudsman's specialist Overseas Workers' Team will spend this week in Gympie as part of an inquiry into the wages and conditions of overseas workers in the area.
Fair Work inspectors will investigate allegations that some unscrupulous employers are exploiting backpackers on working holidays with 417 visas.
The 417 is a temporary visa issued by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to young people who want to holiday and work in Australia for up to two years.
To be eligible to apply for a second year, 417 visa holders must undertake 88 days' specified work in a regional area in certain industries in their first year.
The allegations include underpayment, non-payment, employees paying employers and third parties for the granting of the second visa and the exploitation of workers in exchange for accommodation programs.
The Fair Work Ombudsman's Overseas Workers' Team is now conducting community engagement sessions in areas where large numbers of backpackers work.