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ECCV recognises that culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD) are often adversely affected by exploitative labour hire practices based on our consultations with CALD communities, service providers and regional Victorian ECCs. While labour hire and insecure work affects many communities, the ethno-specific dimension of exploitation and insecure work remains consistent in certain sectors such as retail and agriculture.Exploitation of CALD workers in both metropolitan and regional Victoria is a complex problem which has seen ECCV acknowledge and support other community organisations to address this issue. Racism, including crime rates against international students, also play a role.
We understand the limitations of Victoria’s legislative powers and in this paper suggest a link between workplace safety and employment law that may encourage inter-agency cooperation to address some of the issues raised by this Inquiry. For instance, ECCV notes that “coercion” in employment law could be seen as a form of workplace bullying. This due to the fact that the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) “health” now also refers to hazards that create a risk to an employee’s psychological health. In some cases in Victoria, coercion may also be an infringement of the Crimes Amendment (Bullying) Act 2011 (Vic) which is referred to as “Brodie’s law”.