CO: Lynne Rienner. USA: Routledge. Note: Assessment due will vary according to the study-unit availability. The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication.
The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication. The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints. Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice. Other policy changes suggest the visa has been used to address labour shortages in regional industries.
These reforms were openly driven by employer interests in industries where WHMs were coming to play a key role and, unsurprisingly, au pair agencies have sought but have not yet been granted inclusion of au pairing in regional areas among these other preferred industries CAPAA, Clearly, many WHMs are in Australia to work and the scheme is designed to facilitate certain labour market effects. Unfortunately, no research to date has shed light on the number or experiences of au pairs holding WHVs.
Since au pairs are likely numbered in thousands rather than tens of thousands, figures on the prevalence of au pair work among WHMs are not discernible from the quantitative study. The general invisibility of au pairing in Australia in immigration and labour policy discussion is compounded by an almost complete dearth of critical scholarship for a rare exception on au pairs in Australia discussed in comparative context see Yodanis and Lauer, The official silence surrounding au pairs in Australia is so thorough-going that there was not one mention of au pairing in a major parliamentary inquiry into the WHV scheme in JSCM, , nor in two major government-supported research projects into WHMs Harding and Webster, ; Tan, The absence of an official au pair scheme benefits au pairs in certain ways.
- Transnational Migration, Gender and Rights;
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- Coisas Para Fazer Antes do Fim do Mundo (Portuguese Edition).
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Since WHVs may freely work in Australia, the visa does not preclude an au pair changing families or leaving au pairing altogether to find alternative work while in Australia. Consequently, au pairs in Australia are not dependent on their host families for the ongoing validity of their visa as they are in some countries.
However, in other ways the lack of official guidelines leaves au pairs in Australia in a seriously vulnerable position. This uncertain regulatory context reproduces historical contradictions about the scope of productive labour, and specifically what counts as family and what counts as work. Turning first to employment protections, anecdotally au pair agencies and government tax and labour inspectors seem to exclude au pairing from the categorisation of work.
Au pairs’ perceptions of life in the global city
Australian employment laws do not generally exclude domestic work from their purview, except in two states: Western Australia and South Australia. One superior court has held that a live-in caretaker and instructor at a flying club was an employee. Although he received no wages, the provision to him of rent-free accommodation was taken to satisfy the need for consideration in a binding contract Cudgegong Soaring Pty Ltd v Harris , A comprehensive study by two labour law experts on unpaid work commissioned by the FWO in did not conceptualise au pairing even as unpaid work. Yet, incongruously, au pairing appears to be presumed to be work for immigration purposes by the Immigration Department and au pair agencies.
Gender, work, non-work and the invisible migrant: au pairs in contemporary Britain
It will be recalled that WHVs limit visa-holders to six months work with any one employer. That au pair agencies consider family stays to be work for the purpose of visa conditions, and therefore limited to six months under the WHV, is discernible from their advocacy for a novel visa dedicated exclusively to au pairs to enable au pairs to remain with their host family for a full year discussed in more detail in the following section. If au pairing is work, any au pair on a WHV who remains with their host family for longer than six months may have their visa cancelled Migration Act , s Upon visa cancellation, a non-citizen is required by Australian law to be mandatorily detained and removed as soon as practicable ss and My research indicates that in recent years the Immigration Department has approached au pairing as work.
For instance, in a pilot study on au pairs I conducted in Sydney, I interviewed a young German woman whose visa was cancelled and who was detained and removed from Australia because her au pairing was determined to contravene her visitor visa conditions prohibiting any work. Whether au pairing always constitutes work remains unresolved as a matter of law or policy. The fact that this issue has not been fully ventilated may reflect the currently small numbers of au pairs in Australia.
However, the significance of this question is far from theoretical, as the experience of the young German interviewee makes clear. It is well recognised in the international scholarship that au pairs can be susceptible to mistreatment by their host families due to their youth, lack of fluency in the local language and unfamiliarity with local laws and customs see, eg, Anderson, ; Cox and Narula, However, the ambiguity about whether au pairing constitutes work in Australia creates a further significant source of vulnerability.
Unlike the extremely serious consequences for an au pair who extends her family placement beyond the permitted period, no consequences whatever flow to the host family. Consequently, whenever a family and au pair decide to extend the placement beyond that permitted under the WHV, the costs of detection bear down on the au pair alone.
International scholarship has examined in detail how au pair schemes allow host states to manage deeply contradictory attitudes to foreign domestic workers and childcare Isaksen, ; Cox, At the same time, au pairs increase the availability of market-based childcare while minimising its cost, precisely because they are not defined as employees Yodanis and Lauer, Using the WHV scheme as the vehicle for outsourcing of childcare has specific cultural resonances in Australia, a country which has yet to embrace devolution of childcare to the market as fully as others.
As discussed earlier, the WHV scheme in general permits the Australian government to de-emphasise the presence of thousands of foreign workers in Australia, while taking advantage of their labour. The visa allows Australian families to view the care work in their home as an opportunity for the au pair rather than a burden, and to see themselves as benefactors rather than employers Chuang, , The eligibility criteria of the WHM scheme may go some way towards preventing the most egregious exploitation of au pairs.
The WHV is only available to people from specified industrialised countries who pose very little risk of contravening immigration controls and have sufficient funds for a return airfare. Consequently, visa-holders are preselected specifically because they are less likely to be utterly dependent on an abusive host family for their livelihood.
Emerald: Advances in Ecopolitics
The socio-economic background of au pairs on WHVs is therefore often similar to their Australian employers. Denying WHMs jobs with clear career progression is justified on the basis that they gain longer-term advantages through English language acquisition or gaining a foothold in the Australian labour market Tan, , p III. This avoids, at least in the popular imagination, the exploitative undertones of domestic worker migration as it exists in the United States, Canada or Europe see, eg, Chuang, ; Sollund, At the same time, a complex blend of the assumed foreignness and transience of WHMs including au pairs leaves them in a distinctly more precarious labour market position than young Australians.
Thus, while Australian families may seek au pairs who are viewed as class peers rather than a subordinated group to find a measure of cultural acceptability in paying for in-home child care, they may simultaneously be motivated to take advantage of precisely those axes of difference between themselves and au pairs in their effort to ensure that outsourced childcare is cheap and flexible. The inquiry is likely to canvas policy mechanisms which will provide cheaper care labour in other words, available for less than the pay rates of the working women whose labour is being replaced which is available over long and irregular hours.
Skickas inom vardagar.
Laddas ned direkt. This volume of the Advances in Ecopolitics examines the impact of the recent global increase in migration from poor and conflict ridden states to more affluent peaceful regions of the world. Such migration is, in part, constituted by refugees and asylum seekers, while also constituted by labour migrants seeking to improve their lives and future prospects through their work power. Regulations apply that can have varying impacts on migrants' manoeuvring possibilities and rights, and can leave them vulnerable to exploitation. This book examines the vulnerability caused by migration, in particular, the vulnerability of women that may cause forced migration, and the ways in which this is dealt with by national authorities in affluent European states.
Following an introductory chapter on transnational migration, gender and human rights, specific chapters highlight: gendered work and migration regimes; the framing of anti-trafficking efforts in Norway; deprofessionalisation and informality in the market for commoditised care; and exploring intersectionality, systems and capitals. The book concludes with a discussion of rights, gender and the embodiment of migration.