1st Edition

Migrant Rights at Work Law's precariousness at the intersection of immigration and labour

By Laurie Berg Copyright 2016
    342 Pages
    by Routledge

    342 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Public debates about the terms of membership and inclusion have intensified as developed economies increasingly rely on temporary migrant labour. While most agree that temporary migrant workers are entitled to the general protection of employment laws, temporary migrants have, by definition, restricted rights to residence, full social protections and often to occupational and geographic mobility. This book raises important ethical questions about the differential treatment of temporary and unauthorised migrant workers, and permanent residents, and where the line should be drawn between exploitation and legitimate employment.

    Taking the regulatory reforms of Australia as a key case study, Laurie Berg explores how the influence of immigration law extends beyond its functions in regulating admission to and exclusion from a country. Berg examines the ways in which immigration law and enforcement reconfigure the relationships between migrant workers and employers, producing uncertain and coercive working conditions. In presenting an analytical approach to issues of temporary labour migration, the book develops a unique theoretical framework, contending that the concept of precariousness is a more fruitful way than equality or vulnerability to evaluate and address issues of temporary migrant labour.

    The book will be of great interest to scholars and practitioners of immigration law and employment law and policy.

    Part I: The Australian Standard(s) 1. Whose Rights at Work 2. Inclusion and Precariousness of Migrant Labour Part II: Temporary Migrant Labour in Australia 3. Keeping up the ‘Australian Standard’: The Regulation of Temporary Migrant Workers in Australia 4. From ‘Worker Protection’ to ‘Protecting Local Jobs’: Six Years of Reforms to High Skilled Temporary Labour in Australia Part III: Unauthorised Migrant Labour 5. The Production of Unauthorised Migrant Workers: The Contribution from Immigration Controls 6. A Jurisprudence of Unauthorised Work in Australia 7. Employer Sanctions against Unauthorised Workers 8. Working with Coercion: Labour Trafficking 9. Getting our Priorities Straight: Connections Between Forced Labour and Labour 10. Conclusion


    Laurie Berg is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney, Australia