Migrant Worker Code of Conduct
Voluntary Code of Conduct for Migrant Workers
The Voluntary Code of Conduct for Migrant Workers is an independently audited certification program used by livestock processors and other employers in the red meat sector to demonstrate compliance with industry best practice and regulations relating to migrant workers.
The code was developed in response to industry demand for consistent best practice management standards across all workplaces in the sector.
This project began as 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 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.
The code is administered by AMIC, and AUS-MEAT is the appointed certifying authority which will conduct the audit program and issue certification where the requirements outlined in the code have been met.
Why this code is good for our industry
Migrant workers play an essential role in the red meat industry. By becoming signatories to the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Migrant Workers, businesses are signalling their commitment to the fair and ethical treatment of this workforce cohort, and reinforcing our zero-tolerance view on the exploitation of workers, particularly migrants.
Certified businesses are assuring customers, regulators, industry and the general community that their establishment is operating to best practice standards on employment of migrant workers and that relevant employment practices have been independently audited.
Certified businesses will be able to display the Voluntary Code of Conduct Certified logo which can be used to promote the establishment’s certification status.
Submit an expression of interest
What’s in the code?
The Guiding Principles include:
- Respect for Laws
- Fair Workplace Treatment
- Responsible Procurement and Sourcing Practices
- Travel and Accommodation
- Support for Integration into Host Communities
- Access to Remedy
- Transparent Workplace Practices
Become a signatory
The first step towards gaining your certification is to become a signatory to the code. You can do that by signing up here.
What is the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Migrant workers?
The code, established in 2023, is a set of guidelines designed to promote the fair and ethical treatment of Migrant Workers within the red meat processing industry in Australia.
What are the benefits of becoming a Signatory?
Becoming a Signatory demonstrates a commitment to transparent and accountable practices for the fair and ethical treatment of Migrant Workers. Signatories are recognised for their leadership and integrity.
Participation as a Signatory is open to all organisations in the red meat processing industry who employ migrant workers.
What are the requirements once you become a Signatory?
Signatories are required to participate in an annual Code Compliance Audit, submit the audit report, and provide a Statement of Continuance reaffirming their commitment to the Guiding Principles.
AUS-MEAT is the body approved to conduct audits and issue certification.
What does the audit process involve?
The audit is a one-day site visit. The audit will primarily consist of ensuring that company policies, procedures and mechanisms comply with the Code of Conduct. Any non-compliances found on the day can subsequently be closed remotely. Once all non-compliances are closed, certification can be issued.
What is the Code Review Panel?
The Code Review Panel is an independent body responsible for reviewing compliance, handling complaints, and ensuring that the code is upheld. It is made up of industry representatives and external stakeholders.
How is personal information handled under this code?
For any specific questions or concerns related to the code, contact: [email protected]
Why is this code necessary?
Migrant Workers play a crucial role in the red meat processing industry. The code will help ensure their fair treatment, and also demonstrate the industry’s commitment to responsible employment practices.
The primary objective of this code is to protect the interests and promote the welfare of Migrant Workers. The Guiding Principles include:
Respect for Laws
Fair Workplace Treatment
Responsible Procurement and Sourcing Practices
Travel and Accommodation
Support for Integration into Host Communities
Access to Remedy
Transparent Workplace Practices
Are labour hire companies able to be signatories?
We encourage all interested parties to become voluntary signatories to the Migrant Worker Code of Conduct program, including labour hire companies. Our goal is to ensure fair and ethical treatment and management of our migrant workforce and this code is another process to ensure we are all providing ethical treatment and standards on top of our legal obligations.
How is this different from SEDEX audits or Fair Work compliance?
SEDEX is a global multi-sector best practice scheme that looks at all aspects of employment for workers. The Voluntary Code of Conduct focuses exclusively on the policies, procedures and mechanisms that support migrant workers within the meat processing industry. As such it dispenses with generalised tests such as site tours, environmental, interviews and risk assessments. Audits are limited to one day on site and, unlike SEDEX, once completed a certificate of compliance is issued.
Fair Work compliance audits focus exclusively on legislative compliance with the obligations of the Fair Work Act, particularly around Awards. Non-compliance can result in fines and even prosecution. The Code has no penalties and, in fact, will actually help ensure Signatories are prepared in the event of a Fair Work Ombudsman visit.
How is non-compliance addressed?
Non-compliance is addressed through Corrective Actions, which may include requirements for a Signatory to rectify issues and prevent them from recurring. AMIC has the authority to take compliance actions. Serious or repetitive non-compliance may result in the suspension or removal of a Signatory.
What costs are involved?
Current costs are:
- $2,600 for a one-day audit on site, including report
- $300 administration fee
- $100 certification fee
All costs quoted are ex-GST and may change – check back or get in touch to confirm. AUS-MEAT terms and conditions apply and are available upon request). A 25% reduction of the Migrant Worker Code of Conduct Audit & Report Writing Fee will apply if a SEDEX-SMETA Is booked with AUS-MEAT Limited at the same time. Any travel costs will be charged in addition.