A NEW Migrant Workers Taskforce announced by the Coalition government today will provide expert advice on measures to protect overseas workers from exploitation.

The taskforce was an election commitment of the Coalition and follows the recent high profile revelations of underpayment of migrant workers within some 7-ELEVENT franchises.

Minister for Employment, Senator Michaelia Cash said the taskforce will bolster the

government’s efforts to crack down on employers seeking to take advantage of migrant workers and deliver better protections for all workers.

“A number of recent high-profile cases where vulnerable migrant workers have been underpaid and exploited at work have exposed unacceptable gaps in the system,” Minister Cash said.

“While the government acknowledges that the majority of employers do the right thing by their employees, we will not tolerate exploitation in Australian workplaces.”

The taskforce, which has been established for an initial term of 18 months, will be chaired by Professor Allan Fels AO, former chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).  Dr David Cousins AM has been appointed Deputy Chair.

“Professor Fels’ experience in this area will be a valuable asset to the taskforce, which is tasked with developing strategies across government to stamp out exploitation of vulnerable migrant workers,” Minister Cash said.

“The Taskforce will support effective ongoing collaboration between agencies to ensure that efforts to stamp out exploitation take a whole-of-government approach.”

The taskforce is expected to hold its first meeting on 21 October.

Click here for the Migrant Works Taskforce terms of reference.