The law does not operate effectively if it is not properly understood. Yet few people have the skills to understand the legal protections that apply to them. This is particularly significant in the area of work, that part of life from which many derive a sense of financial security, self-esteem, social cohesion and identity. It is amplified where the law is drafted in a language that is not one’s own.
Secure income and employment conditions are key social determinants of health. For new Australians, these are also key contributors to a successful settlement in a new place. Yet members of newly arrived communities often experience poor employment conditions, while knowing little about their rights at work.
Western Community Legal Centre (previously Footscray CLC) is working to bridge this gap through its Employment Law Project. It has trained six bilingual community trainers on employment rights to in turn educate their communities about their rights.
Read more about this project in ‘Migrants at Work: Unravelling the Web of Employment Law for New Arrivals‘.