RLC in the Media: International students 'robbed' of super

When the coronavirus pandemic wiped out other job opportunities, international student Andres Puerto decided to withdraw his superannuation and put the money into a bike hire business. But when he went to do so, the money wasn't there.

Katina Curtis reports for the AAP

"I don't have much money because it's a new business and starting off is very hard, even more for students, but I'm lucky because I have some savings," Mr Puerto told AAP. "It's not only about the money. It's also about the feeling of being robbed."

He tried to follow up with his former employer but they didn't acknowledge his attempts to make contact. All up, he estimates he's owed $3000 in superannuation payments.

Mr Puerto's story is not uncommon among students who pay big fees to come to Australia and work on the side to cover living expenses.

International student support services say there has been an increase in people coming to them for help in chasing up unpaid superannuation during the pandemic.

Lawyer Sharmilla Bargon, a steering committee member of the Migrant Employment Legal Service, says the service run across four NSW legal centres (Redfern Legal Centre, Kingsford Legal Centre, Inner City Legal Centre and Marrickville Legal Centre) has provided help to hundreds of migrant workers and international students over the past few months.

Read the full story here (AAP, 20 July 2020)