Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and migrant workers plan 2019-20
This CALD and migrant worker plan 2019-20 is part of SafeWork NSW's At risk workers' strategy 2018-2022.
Our workforce is culturally diverse, made up of people from different birthplaces who may speak different languages at home.
CALD and migrant workers are more likely to be harmed in the workplace than other workers. SafeWork NSW’s At Risk Workers’ strategy 2018–2022 aims to support and protect these workers.
People who have different linguistic, religious and ancestral backgrounds.
People who have moved to Australia to take up work, or study or holiday, with legal authorisation to work. These workers don't have permanent resident status in Australia.
What we know
In NSW in 2016 (based on Census data):
- two million people were born overseas
- just over a quarter (26.9 percent) of the population spoke a language other than English at home (Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2017).
There was a total 4217 workers compensation claims for CALD/Migrant workers between 2015/16 to 2017/181 where:
- 87.5 percent of the claimants’ language spoken at home was not English.
- 2.6 percentage of claiments (109) indicated they were a subclass 457 work visa holder.
- 70.5 percent of the total CALD/Migrant worker claimants identified as male.
Australian and international research states that CALD and migrant workers are concentrated, and over represented, in high-risk industries and occupations. When working in the same occupations, they are often allocated tasks with higher risks.
1. Source: State Insurance Regulatory Authority Workers Compensation Claims data set, 2015/16 to 2017/18.
Who we are working with
SafeWork NSW continues to work with stakeholders to develop and deliver the strategy.
Our stakeholders include:
- Multicultural NSW
- Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW
- Unions NSW and affiliates
- Legal AID NSW.
We have also talked with CALD and migrant workers at events to gather their views and experiences:
- South Western Sydney Jobs and Skills Expo
- Lord Mayor’s Welcome for International Students
- Safety Show
- Hello Doctor - Blacktown NSW
- AgQuip – Tamworth NSW
- Dial Before You Dig Builders At Risk Workers
- 2019 Greater Western Sydney Careers Market.
What are the issues (risk areas)
|At risk group||CALD workers||Migrant workers|
|Highest risk factor||Language barriers hinder understanding of work health and safety rights and worker obligations||Language barriers hinder understanding of work health safety rights and obligations|
|2nd factor||Language and literacy barriers to accessing safety information||Fear of losing job or visa sponsorship|
|3rd factor||Reluctance to speak up and ‘make waves’ due to multiple factors||Poor understanding of safe work practices|
|4th factor||Limited understanding of safe work practices||Reluctance to speak up and ‘make waves’ due to multiple factors|
|5th factor||Inexperience in the job and/or at the individual workplace||Inexperience in the job and/or at the individual workplace|
|6th factor||Fear of authority due to cultural factors||Language and literacy barriers to accessing safety information, including accessing regulatory advice lines to report issues anonymously or using own name|
How are we addressing the issues
|Product development||Stakeholder engagement and collaboration||Research||Information promotion|
|Explore podcast||Implemented the first At Risk Workers category: At Risk Workers achievement award in 2019 SafeWork Awards||Explore opportunities to improve our data collection||Media promotion|
|Developing a case study||Collaboration with community groups, employer associations and other government departments||Utilising community social media platform to promote resources|
|Developed website translated resources hub||Attendance at cultural events||Ongoing review and enhancing website resources|
|Ongoing collaboration with other sector plans||Accessibility - making resources easier to find|
What success looks like
- CALD/Migrant workers and their employers have an increased knowledge of their work health and safety rights and obligations at work.
- Workplaces are more aware of workplace diversity considerations and the impact on work health and safety.
- Employers have an increased understanding of the specific issues facing CALD/Migrant workers and how to manage those risk factors in the workplace.
- Greater accessibility for CALD/ Migrant workers and their employers to information about work health and safety, regardless of literacy, language or cultural background.
Catalogue No. SW09102