IB2017/36 Seasonal Worker Programs and Opportunity for Religious Observance

DPA In Brief

Author/s (editor/s):

Rochelle Bailey

Publication year:

2017

Publication type:

In Brief

This In Brief discusses an often overlooked aspect of Australia’s Seasonal Workers Programme (SWP) and New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme (RSE): opportunities for workers to have religious observances. Religion is important for people in the Pacific and given that the Pacific region is targeted for these schemes, this should not be understated. I highlight the relevance of this issue in terms of policy and how employers and workers are affected, recommending that there is room for further understanding and acknowledgement. Based on evidence from conversations with workers and employers, this paper reveals that this part of the pastoral care policy is not necessarily upheld and, furthermore, people of certain religions face discrimination based on the day of the week on which their observances fall.

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