13/04/2021 How the pandemic has hit Australia’s fastest-growing migrant group – Monash Lens Since then, research indicates that the pandemic has deepened inequality for temporary and undocumented migrant workers, who are disproportionately employed in precarious and insecure work. In early 2021, media appetite for COVID-related stories of economic hardship has seemingly given way to news of vaccines, economic recovery, and Australia’s (to date) comparatively effective containment. Yet we must continue to ask questions about the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, and to address inequality and insecure employment if promises of “national economic recovery” are to be sustained. Nepal-born workers were employed in one of the highest-risk settings – aged care – as predominantly casual employees, or were working in insecure hospitality and cleaning roles well below the minimum wage. The outbreaks in the aged care and cleaning sectors in NSW and Victoria during 2020 highlight the transmission of the virus in workplaces by precarious workers – who often must work across multiple jobs and locations to make ends meet. In Australia, as in much of the world, women migrants and migrants of colours are more likely to be in low-paid, feminised and precarious work. Those working in essential industries such as healthcare, aged care, childcare, cleaning, horticulture, agriculture and food production are at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19, as they’re unable to work from home due to the hands-on nature of their job. They’re also less likely to miss work because they cannot afford the lost wages, or to have a nancial safety net allowing them to isolate and practise safe social distancing. Similarly, those in the precarious service sector, particularly the shut-down hospitality and retail industries, were the rst to lose their jobs. International students in these industries experience endemic levels of wage theft by employers, leaving them with little savings due to stolen wages and super. https://lens.monash.edu/@politics-society/2021/04/12/1383007/tracing-the-impacts-of-the-covid-pandemic-on-australias-fastest-growing-migrant-… 2/8

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