The wellbeing of Pacific and Timor-Leste workers is of central importance to the Australian Government and to its Pacific and Timor-Leste partners.
All Pacific and Timor-Leste workers participating in the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme have the same workplace rights and protections as Australian workers.
PALM scheme employers are responsible for ensuring workers are supported, and businesses must meet specific requirements in order to recruit staff. These include meeting the required accommodation standards, providing sufficient hours of work and other provisions aimed at ensuring the wellbeing of workers.
How are workers supported while they are in Australia?
The PALM scheme has built-in protections. This includes a requirement that PALM scheme employers have worker welfare embedded into their systems and practices to create positive, productive working environments.
The Australian Government also conducts check-ins with workers and employers to make sure employers are taking good care of their workers, and that all required conditions are being met.
Workers with concerns about their work conditions can contact their country liaison officer (CLO) or the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), or call the PALM scheme support service line for help and advice. See below for details.
Ongoing focus on welfare and wellbeing
Ongoing welfare and wellbeing support is provided to PALM scheme workers throughout their time in Australia.
Before workers from Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste come to Australia, they participate in pre-departure training that provides information about living and working in Australia and how to access support.
When they arrive in Australia, their employer provides an on-arrival briefing and helps workers form connections with local community groups as they settle into their new homes.
Information on a range of topics is provided to workers, including:
- accommodation and appropriate living arrangements
- personal finance, superannuation, insurance and banking services
- tax returns
- sending money home
- essential items in Australia (SIM cards, phones, clothing, etc.)
- getting an Australian driver’s licence
- the role of the FWO
- workplace rights and entitlements
- health and medical contacts
- education and training opportunities
- contacts for any diaspora in the community where they will live and work.
Employers provide ongoing support and advice to their workers while they are here.
Contact information for PALM scheme workers
If employers cannot provide answers to workers’ questions, workers can call the support service line on (1800 51 51 31), or email (email@example.com). Please note the support service line and email inbox are monitored 7am-7pm AEST - calls after hours should be for critical incidents only.
Workers can also be provided with the contact details below.
CLO or labour attaché: Visit the website contact page (noting not all participating countries have CLOs).
FWO: Call (13 13 94) or the interpreter service on (13 14 50).
Community Connections is a partnership between the Australian Government and the Salvation Army with the Pacific Islands Council of Queensland, the Pacific Islands Council of South Australia, the Uniting Church Australia Synod of Victoria and Tasmania and the NSW Council for Pacific Communities. This partnership provides support to PALM scheme workers and works to creates better relationships between workers and their local communities and improved cultural understanding.
Community Connections can be contacted for more information at (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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