Workplace rights for all visa holders working in Australia

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is working closely with the Fair Work Ombudsman and the 7-Eleven Independent Franchisee Review and Staff Claims Panel (the Fels Wage Fairness Panel) to investigate underpayment of 7-Eleven workers. We have information about our policies in relation to visa cancellation if you are a 7-Eleven worker and you are considering approaching the Fels Wage Fairness Panel.

People working in Australia, including both sponsored and non-sponsored visa holders, have rights and protections at work. These cannot be taken away by contracts or agreements.

Pay rates and workplace conditions are set by Australian law.

The Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT) provides information on pay rates, shift calculations, leave arrangements and notice and redundancy entitlements.

The Fair Work Ombudsman can give you further information and advice about your workplace rights and obligations, and has workplace information translated into different languages.

Your rights and protections include workplace health and safety matters.

If you need an interpreter, you can contact the Translating and Interpreting Service

Your employer cannot cancel your visa

Only the Department of Immigration and Border Protection can grant, refuse or cancel visas. Visa cancellation is not automatic in circumstances where a visa holder has breached their visa conditions.  If you are under consideration for visa cancellation, you will have the opportunity to provide reasons as to why your visa should not be cancelled.

Helpful recordkeeping hints when you start working in Australia

  • keep a diary of days and hours worked
  • keep copies or records of employment details, pay slips, agreements and superannuation and tax documents.

Employer obligations for subclass 457 visa holders

If you are a sponsored visa holder on a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) visa, your employer has obligations under migration law, in addition to the protections all workers have under workplace law. Your sponsor must:

  • provide you with equivalent terms and conditions of employment to those provided or would be provided to an Australian performing equivalent work in the same location
  • ensure you work only in the occupation, program or activity for which you were nominated
  • not recover, transfer or charge certain costs to you or another person (for example, recruitment costs, sponsorship/nomination fees, migration agent costs)
  • if requested in writing, pay reasonable and necessary travel costs to allow you and your family members to leave Australia;
  • tell the Department in writing when certain events occur (for example, changes to your sponsor’s address/contact details, if your employment with the sponsor ends, if your duties change)
  • cooperate with inspectors from the  Department or the Fair Work Ombudsman who are investigating whether your sponsor has complied with sponsorship obligations;
  • keep records that show they are complying with their sponsorship obligations and provide those records and information to the Department if requested.

Further detail about obligations a sponsor must meet is available on the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) webpage under 'Sponsors' and 'Sponsor obligations'.

Where you can report potential breaches of subclass 457 visa obligations

The Department takes any alleged breaches of the subclass 457 visa very seriously, investigating allegations and taking appropriate enforcement action.  If you have information about a potential breach, you can provide this to the Department in several ways. See Report something suspicious webpage.

Employer obligations for other temporary sponsored visa holders

Employers for other temporary sponsored visas have obligations too. See Temporary Residence Sponsor Obligations.