‘A Legally Constructed Underclass of Workers? The Deportability and Limited Work Rights of International Students in Australia and the United Kingdom’

Abstract: International students have not traditionally been the focus of labour law scholarship, in part because their central purpose in a foreign country is to study rather than work. It is also generally accepted that there is no special reason to focus on international students as a distinct category of workers. This article attests to the particular vulnerability of international students in domestic labour markets, drawing on a comparative study of government policy and practice in relation to international students in Australia and the UK. Immigration rules in both jurisdictions frame the manner in which international students engage in the labour market during their studies. These rules restrict the hours in which international students can engage in paid work during semester, and if breached can result in the international students being deported from the host country. This has the effect of limiting the job market for international students, increasing the power of employers and reducing the likelihood international students will report exploitative work. Instead of strict work hour limits and deportation for breach, governments should rely on other regulatory mechanisms for ensuring international students are present in the host country for the purpose of education rather than work.

Joanna Howe, A Legally Constructed Underclass of Workers? The Deportability and Limited Work Rights of International Students in Australia and the United Kingdom, Industrial Law Journal, https://doi.org/10.1093/indlaw/dwy021. Published: 24 October 2018.

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