Reading time: 3 minutes

As an employer, there are a number of benefits for your business in hiring resettled refugees as employees. This article will set out our tips and advice for employing refugees and what you should consider as an employer.

Give Refugees the Opportunity

The opportunity for consistent and fulfilling employment can make a significant contribution towards successful resettlement for refugees in Australia. To achieve this, employers must be willing to give refugees the opportunity to apply their strengths, skills and experience in an Australian workplace. It would be preferable to offer permanent positions but you might also want to consider offering alternative recruitment options at the beginning including work experience programs, internships or transitional roles.

Provide a Comprehensive Induction and Orientation

It is important to provide a comprehensive induction and orientation to new employees to ensure your policies are clearly communicated and understood from the outset. This is particularly relevant if this will be their first job in an Australian workplace. You could consider drafting your Employment Handbook in different languages, spending more time explaining business specific jargon and providing mentors for new employees that they can approach with questions.

Create a Supportive Team Environment

A supportive team environment can be invaluable for new employees when learning the practices of a new workplace. This is particularly relevant for employees from cultural backgrounds where respect for authority is highly regarded and they may be reluctant to approach their supervisor with questions or issues. In this situation, it would be beneficial for the employees to be able to approach another team member to assist them. You could consider having group lunches, activities or social events to encourage group participation and inclusion.

Be Flexible and Respectful

Any employee of yours, regardless of whether they are from a refugee background or not, is likely to have personal issues arise which can impact on their work. It is important to keep in mind that refugees are likely to be dealing with complex settlement issues alongside their work which could include visa applications, housing and transport as well as supporting other family members in the community or in their home country. They may also have a religious background which may require, for example, prayer throughout the day or absence from work for religious holidays.

You could consider operating flexibly in these situations, by offering time in lieu or different start or finish times, so that you are more likely to retain staff and encourage employee loyalty.

Treat all of your Employees Equally

It is important to treat all of your employees as equals and not to give preferential treatment to those with a refugee background. This could create disharmony in the workplace and it may even be the case that the refugees themselves do not want to be treated any differently to another employee. Nevertheless, you should recognise that there are significant barriers for refugees to find sustainable and meaningful employment. However, if you support their transition, you will find that they can bring a wealth of skills, experience and determination to your workplace.

If you have any questions about employment practices, get in touch with our Employment Lawyers on 1300 544 755 or send us a message.

Webinars

Construction Contract Essentials

Thursday 12 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Understand how construction contracts are drafted and how to protect your construction business.
Register Now

Startup 101: Understanding Cap Tables and ESOPs

Thursday 19 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Cap tables and employee share option plans are essential for fast-growing startups. Learn more with this free webinar.
Register Now

Expanding to NZ: Structuring Your Business For Success

Thursday 26 August | 2:00 - 2:45pm

Online
Launching a business in New Zealand? Understand how to structure your business for success with this free webinar.
Register Now

Preventing Modern Slavery: Your Business’ Legal Obligations

Thursday 9 September | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Are you an Australian business with $100m+ annual consolidated revenue? Learn how to determine if you are a modern slavery reporting entity and your obligations under the legislation with this free webinar.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a tech-driven, full-service commercial law firm that uses technology to deliver a faster, better quality and more cost-effective client experience.

The majority of our clients are LVConnect members. By becoming a member, you can stay ahead of legal issues while staying on top of costs. From just $119 per week, get all your contracts sorted, trade marks registered and questions answered by experienced business lawyers.

Learn more about LVConnect

Need Legal Help? Get a Free Fixed-Fee Quote

If you would like to receive a free fixed-fee quote or get in touch with our team, fill out the form below.

  • 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation – Finalist – Australasian Law Awards 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice – Winner – Australasian Lawyer 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • Most Innovative Law Firm - 2019 Australasian Lawyer 2019 Most Innovative Firm - Australasian Lawyer