No more working cap for international students on COVID-19 frontline. Is that exploitation?

© Provided by ABC Health International student Srishti Chatterjee would like to see the working cap removed for all industries.  (Supplied)

The federal government has lifted working caps for international students in “essential sectors” during the pandemic, but some students and advocates say the change is exploitative. 

International students can temporarily work beyond the usual cap of 40 hours per fortnight but only in aged care, the health sector, hospitality, tourism, agriculture, at National Disability Insurance Scheme providers and supermarkets in lockdown areas.

Srishti Chatterjee, an international student from India, said the policy was unfair and encouraged international students to put themselves at higher risk of catching COVID-19.

The 20-year-old works in social justice — a sector still restricted by the 40 hour per fortnight working cap.

“I’ve had to decline jobs that I have gotten that I have been absolutely qualified for just because it was full-time employment and I cannot work full time,” they said.

The University of Melbourne student, who studies a Bachelor of Arts majoring in sociology and media, said international students should be given working rights that afford them more choice.

“If you wanted to help international students you would let them take up any job for any number of hours in whatever sector they want,” they said.

The restriction on international students’ working hours was first lifted in the aged care sector last year, however initially the new rules only applied to those already working in aged care.

The Department of Home Affairs later applied the exemption to the other sectors.

Last week, the restriction was lifted for international students in aged care regardless of when they started working in the sector. 

Council of International Students Australia president Belle Lim said that to her knowledge, the government did not consult international student organisations on the changes.

Ms Lim said given how reluctant the government has been to help international students during the pandemic, the change “certainly borders on exploitation of international students”.

She said they were being used to fill economic holes created by border closures.

“The government has resorted to incentivising international students to take up those roles usually filled by migrant workers or other types of temporary visa holders,” she said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs said the policy change was designed to “fill immediate labour shortages in critical industries” and provide employment opportunities for those who have become unemployed as a result of COVID-19.

The department would regularly review the change, the spokesperson said. 

A 2020 study by Unions NSW measuring the impact of the pandemic on temporary migrants found 31 per cent of surveyed international students said they did not have enough money for rent.

Meanwhile, 46 per cent said they regularly skipped meals due to financial constraints. 

National Union of Students (NUS) president Zoe Rangathanan said international students were now being forced to choose between putting themselves at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 or living in poverty. 

Ms Rangathanan said the government could better support international students by giving them access to payments like Youth Allowance and Austudy and removing the working cap for all sectors. 

“We know that international students are still living in poverty and so it doesn’t make sense for the government to place a 20-hour limit on them to work at all,” she said.

Judy Ann Imperial, an international student from the Philippines who was already working in the aged care sector, has been working full time since the change.

She now works 76 hours per fortnight at a Sydney nursing home, and uses the extra money to pay her tuition, rent and bills.

The 35-year-old was recently forced to isolate for two weeks after a colleague caught COVID-19. She and the other staff and patients had all been vaccinated and tested negative.

Despite the risks, Ms Imperial said she was grateful to be able to work more than 40 hours per fortnight.

Her Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Wollongong cost more than $15,000 per semester, so working alongside her studies was a necessity, she said. 

“My family is actually sending a lesser amount of money when I started working more than 40 hours every fortnight,” she said.

“It was a huge relief for them.”

However, Gabriela D’Souza, a senior economist at the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, said the removal of the cap only for sectors with elevated risks of contracting COVID-19 “doesn’t make for great policy”.

Ms D’Souza said the cap should be removed entirely, as it would give students more opportunities to work in industries relevant to their careers while they were at university.

Australia had generally treated international students poorly during the pandemic, which could lead to a drop in enrolments, she said.

“I keep asking myself, how are we going to be able to sustain this when we are facing global competition from the likes of Canada and the UK?”

[Form embed]

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


USAID, DoH launch mobile app for mental health support

© Provided by BusinessWorld The Philippines’ very first mobile application geared towards providing mental health support and self-care reminders had its soft launch on Friday, with a wider launch through ... Read more »

Cleo Smith: Major search launched after four-year-old disappears from Australian campsite in middle of night

© Ellie Smith/ Facebook Cleo Smith went missing on Saturday morning from a campsite in near Carnarvon, about 900km north of Perth – Ellie Smith/ Facebook The search for a ... Read more »

Aktif jalankan aktiviti kebajikan dan kesukarelawanan, Cikgu Maisarah Hannan mahu terus beri manfaat kepada orang lain

Perkongsian mengenai aktiviti kebajikan dan sukarelawan yang dijalankan oleh Guru Bimbingan dan Kaunseling, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Konven St Cecilia, Cikgu Maisarah Hannan Chong Abdullah di media sosial sering kali ... Read more »

China denies report of hypersonic missile test, says tested space vehicle

© Reuters/CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian attends a news conference in Beijing, China BEIJING (Reuters) -China tested a space vehicle in July, not a nuclear-capable hypersonic ... Read more »

A Chinese propaganda film about the defeat of the US Army is set to become the country's highest grossing film ever

© CCTV6/YouTube A still from the trailer for the 2021 movie “The Battle at Lake Changjin.” CCTV6/YouTube “The Battle at Lake Changjin” has made $769 million since releasing in China ... Read more »

Schwierige Zeiten in Lyon: Franzosen von Shaqiri schwer enttäuscht

© Bereitgestellt von Blick Franzosen von Shaqiri schwer enttäuscht Die Journalistenplätze im Groupama Stadium in Lyon sind so weit oben wie die Billig-Plätze für 19 und 25 Euro. Lichtjahre vom ... Read more »

Your ultimate menopause workout and 9 lifestyle hacks to help ease your symptoms

MENOPAUSAL women are dogged by weight gain, anxiety, hot flushes and brain fog – but they can make it The Change for the better with exercise. Our Menopause Matters campaign ... Read more »

Op-Ed: USC and prosecutors owe the public a full account of sex abuse inquiries

Leaders at the University of Southern California still have not embraced transparency about abuse allegations and the university’s responses. (Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times) More than three years ... Read more »

Russia's coronavirus infections exceed 8 million

Medical workers carry a patient suspected of having coronavirus on a stretcher at a hospital in Kommunarka, outside Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. Russia’s daily death toll from COVID-19 ... Read more »

Charles tells of Prince George learning about climate change

The Prince of Wales has told how his grandson Prince George is learning about climate change as he introduced a documentary ahead of Cop26. Heir to the throne Charles said ... Read more »

Veteran's Troubles trial adjourned for three weeks after he contracts Covid

The trial of Army veteran Dennis Hutchings over a Troubles shooting has been adjourned for three weeks after the defendant contracted Covid-19. Defence barrister James Lewis QC informed Belfast Crown ... Read more »

[VIDEO] Raih 14 juta tontonan, aksi ular besar melingkar atas kabel elektrik tengah bandar

SEKALI imbas, ramai yang menyangka ia adalah layang-layang. Namun apabila diamati, rupa-rupanya ia adalah seekor ular besar yang melingkar pada kabel elektrik. Reptilia itu lazimnya jarang muncul di khalayak ramai ... Read more »

Billy Porter criticized Vogue for featuring Harry Styles as its first ever male in a dress on its cover: 'He doesn't care'

© Toni Anne Barson / Getty Images Billy Porter is known for his flamboyant red carpet outfits. Toni Anne Barson / Getty Images Billy Porter criticized Vogue’s December cover, which ... Read more »

Chin Tong: Pakatan at odds about which logo to use at Melaka polls, risks alienating voters

© Provided by Malay Mail Liew Chin Tong speaks during a press conference after the Grand Shravasti Blessing Ceremony For World Peace 2020 event in Petaling Jaya December 11, 2019.— ... Read more »

No, I'm not deserting Warisan, says Kunak assemblyman

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Norazlinah Arif said she will continue defending the people and also help Shafie Apdal strengthen Warisan. KUNAK: Kunak assemblyman Norazlinah Arif has denied allegations ... Read more »

I've been targeted with acid attack and death threats, says Dominic Raab, after Sir David Amess' death

DOMINIC Raab today revealed police had to step in to stop an acid attack against him and that he's faced three death threats in the last two years. The deputy ... Read more »

EU, UK must be given time to discuss N. Ireland- Ireland's Coveney

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU and British negotiators need to be given time to discuss possible changes to Northern Ireland’s trading arrangements, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Monday, expressing ... Read more »

Factbox-Climate targets – making sense of the promises

LONDON (Reuters) – As public pressure has grown for action to limit climate change, countries and companies worldwide have made promises to contribute to the effort, which will be reviewed ... Read more »

Zulassung für dritte Impfung steht kurz bevor: Bald kommt der Booster

Immer mehr ältere Menschen sterben trotz doppelter Impfung am Coronavirus. Dementsprechend laut sind die Forderungen nach einer dritten Impfdosis für Seniorinnen und Senioren. Diese dürfte bald kommen. © Bereitgestellt von ... Read more »

Aalto University students create jacket with hidden solar panels

Design and physics students at Finland’s Aalto University have worked together to create clothing with concealed solar panels, making the technology invisible to the naked eye. © Provided by Dezeen ... Read more »

Sir David Amess murder suspect ‘radicalised after watching YouTube videos of hate preacher Anjem Choudary'

SUSPECTED MP killer Ali Harbi Ali was radicalised after watching YouTube videos of hate preacher Anjem Choudary, former friends claimed last night. As a first photo of the alleged knifeman ... Read more »

‘Surge' in number of newborns sharing the names of two Sex Education characters

There has been a “surge” in the number of babies being given the same names as two characters from the hit Netflix series Sex Education, according to the Office for ... Read more »

CT ward councillors must answer to residents, not parties - Khayelitsha activist

© Provided by CapeTalk Khayelitsha activist Nkosikhona Swartbooi says most ward councillors in the area are not driven by the mission to serve the community’s needs There have been several ... Read more »

Prince William just said the sweetest thing about Princess Charlotte

Photo credit: RoyalFamily – Instagram It's not everyday Prince William does an Instagram Q&A session, but this weekend he treated royal fans to just that. Speaking on his Story on ... Read more »

'Keep calm': A Georgia town calls for unity as it prepares for Black jogger murder trial

The Boykin Ridge neighborhood, where Ahmaud Arbery was staying with his mother the day he went for a jog and was slain about 2 miles away in the Satilla Shores ... Read more »

North Troms and Senja District Court sentences man to four years in prison for sleep rape

A man in his 20s has been sentenced in North Troms and Senja District Court to four years in prison for raping a woman who was sleeping. The unanimous verdict ... Read more »

Arjun Kapoor hints at going on a digital detox, says 'time to disappear'

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: Actor Arjun Kapoor has decided to opt for a digital detox for some time. On Monday, Arjun took to Instagram Story and posted ... Read more »

‘This is our last chance': Biden urged to act as climate agenda hangs by a thread

Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images With furious environmental activists at the gates of the White House, and congressional Democrats fretting that a priceless opportunity to tackle catastrophic global heating may be ... Read more »

Eswatini govt defends king after security forces clash with protestors

© Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN FILE: King Mswati III of eSwatini, at Loftus Stadium for the inauguration of Cyril Ramaphosa as the sixth democratically elected president. JOHANNESBURG – The Eswatini government ... Read more »

Top 100 names for baby boys in 2020

Here are the top 100 most popular names for baby boys in England and Wales in 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics. The number next to each name ... Read more »

'It's colours, guys! Nice colours': Mbalula claps back at claims he used Zozi's snap for electioneering

© Provided by SowetanLive Mbalula shared Tunzi’s Miss Universe entry photo where she can be seen wearing an emerald green headscarf and dress. The original was uploaded on Miss Universe’s ... Read more »

Warriors superstar Reece Walsh pleads guilty to drug possession charge

Warriors superstar fullback Reece Walsh has pleaded guilty in a Gold Coast court to possessing cocaine. The 19-year-old father was arrested in the Surfers Paradise nightclub precinct in the early ... Read more »

Hospitals under strain again after coronavirus patients moved from Zwolle

A coronavirus poster in hospital. Photo: Three coronavirus patients were transferred from a hospital in Zwolle to Rotterdam at the weekend amid warnings that the health service will struggle ... Read more »

Kemahiran ICT kunci utama kendali murid-murid, guru prasekolah perlu kreatif laksana PdP

Mengambil kira peratusan bilangan individu yang mendapatkan vaksin sudah menepati sasaran ditetapkan dan peralihan fasa pandemik kepada endemik tidak lama lagi, sesi persekolahan juga dijangka dibuka semula dalam masa terdekat. ... Read more »

ADUN Sindumin nafi tandangan surat letak jawatan

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Yusof Yacob mengumumkan keluar daripada Warisan pada 7 Okt dan menjadi ADUN bebas yang menyokong GRS. (Gambar Bernama) PETALING JAYA: Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri ... Read more »

MP Joanna Cherry tells how ‘unrelenting attacks' led to her considering quitting

SNP MP Joanna Cherry has revealed that she considered quitting Parliament because of the “unrelenting attacks” made against her. The high-profile politician, speaking in the wake of the death of ... Read more »

Lockdown protester denied bail after alleged attacks on police on horses

© Eddie Jim Anti-lockdown protest in CBD. 24 July 2021. The Age News. Photo: Eddie Jim. A lockdown protester charged with separate attacks on police officers who were on horses ... Read more »

China's disappointing growth slowdown weighs on markets; oil hits new highs – business live

LIVE – Updated at 10:45 © Photograph: Wu Hong/EPA People walk and ride bicycles in the central business district (CBD) in Beijing, China, 17 October 2021. Rolling coverage of the ... Read more »

HSE chief says its ‘time to hit the reset button' as Nphet meet today to discuss the advice for Government

HSE chief Paul Reid has said it is “time to hit the reset button” as the number patients being treated in hospital continues to rise. He said today there were ... Read more »

Two young Australians ‘miraculously' survive for days lost in Outback without water

© AFP via Getty Images Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock – AFP via Getty Images Police have said it is an “absolute miracle” that two people have been found ... Read more »