The employment of migrant workers in the red meat processing industry is essential and contributes to supporting Australian jobs. It needs to be done right, in a way that enriches the lives of migrant workers.
AMPC has developed a Voluntary Code of Conduct for the Employment of Migrant Workers which is consistent with international and Australian best practice and that allows the industry to demonstrate its credentials.
The code was developed in response to industry demand for consistent and auditable management standards across all workplaces in the processing industry. So that industry can demonstrate its credentials in this area and be recognised for its best practice in this area.
AMPC Program Manager Amanda Carter says the initiative arose from an industry CEO workshop hosted by AMPC, and forms part of AMPC’s people and culture research and development strategy, which by 2030 aims to have the processing sector seen as a diverse, safe and attractive industry of choice for employment.
The Voluntary Code of Conduct for Migrant Workers is leading best practice and goes above and beyond what legislation already says and covers aspects from responsible procurement and sourcing practices to support for integration into host communities. With processors being large employers in regional communities the code will enable a thriving and diverse society.
The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) will administer the code and processors and labour hire providers can sign up to the program and begin booking their certification audits through AUSMEAT.
AMIC’s National Processor Council Chair Tom Maguire said, “This is the first time our industry has developed something like this. We want something that we can stand by as an industry and allows us to demonstrate our exceptional credentials in this area.”
The code has been developed to support our sector through a certified and auditable set of guidelines which will help them in the management, recruitment, and employment of migrants.
Amanda said, “Processors recognise the value that migrant workers bring to our sector, and also the importance of ensuring this valuable cohort of workers continues to be treated fairly and properly, in alignment with relevant regulations. The code was developed by AMPC in consultation with a working group which validated the draft code and its compliance guide prior to it being trialled at five pilot sites.
“It was processors who called for the development of the code, to ensure consistent best practice management standards across all workplaces,” Amanda says.
“Our thanks go to the many processors who have supported the development of the code over a period of more than 18 months.”
The code is available on the AMIC website.