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Tackle wage theft

THOUSANDS of short-term migrants exploited by bosses who withhold fair wages, will benefit from a $1.6 million statewide project providing free legal help to recover the money owed to them.

Free service to help ripped-off migrants

Attorney General Mark Speakman launched the new Migrant Employment Legal Service (MELS), a joint initiative of four Sydney-based Community Legal Centres (CLCs), which will offer on the ground help to underpaid workers with the provision of free legal advice to almost a thousand people a year.
Marrickville Legal Centre has joined forces with Inner City Legal Centre, Redfern Legal Centre, Kingsford Legal Centre to devise the project that covers a critical gap in legal services.
Mr Speakman said these four CLCs have a long history of helping some of the most vulnerable people in our community to solve legal problems before they snowball into potentially life-altering crises.
The participating CLCs have hired two workers fluent in relevant languages who’ll work closely with the Fair Work Ombudsman, Legal Aid NSW and migrant groups.
“Every employee in Australia should be paid what they’re owed and this project will go a long way towards holding to account employers who exploit their workers,” Mr Speakman said.
“For migrants and temporary visa holders, MELS offers free legal advice, representation and community legal education if you’ve been ripped off by your employer or unfairly dismissed.”
Acting Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee said this initiative plays an important part in helping multicultural communities.
“Temporary migrants make a significant contribution to the NSW economy, making up 11 per cent of the national workforce,” Mr Lee said.
“The project will offer on the ground help to underpaid workers with the provision of free legal advice to almost a thousand people a year. In NSW we want to ensure our migrant and multicultural communities aren’t exploited.”Attorney

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