22 Feb 2012

Australian seasonal labour agency cleared in Vanuatu worker dispute

12:38 pm on 22 February 2012

An Australian employment agency says it has been cleared by Fair Work Australia in a dispute involving a group of Vanuatu workers on the Pacific Seasonal Worker Employment Scheme.

The agency, Connect Group, called for an audit by the national workplace relations tribunal after the 32 workers returned to Vanuatu early following a contractual dispute.

The firm's Managing Director Michael Fryszer says his firm and the grower have learnt valuable lessons from the case but there was no breach of workers' rights.

"There were other underlying personal issues and group dynamic issues, performance-based issues that were the cause of this. Unfortunately something of a smokescreen was put up and that was underpayment and exploitation."

Michael Fryszer says his firm will continue to work with Vanuatu authorities to perfect the system.