The Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (Subclass 482) (TSS) was introduced in March 2018 (replacing the 457 visa) to assist in filling skills-related employment gaps. In this article Dominic Cookman and Suchara Fernando list 9 things employers should know before they apply to sponsor someone under the 482 visa.
The 482 visa permits the holder to live in Australia while working full time for their sponsoring employer. The purpose of this visa is to facilitate employment of foreign workers to address temporary skill shortages.
To successfully sponsor an applicant, it is important to know the following:
All employers must ensure that all non-citizens working for them in Australia have a valid working visa.
Some visas, such as a visitor visa, don’t provide working rights. As an Australian employer, you can’t employ someone who is only holding one of these visas.
Under the Fair Work Act 2009, the employer must only hire employees with permission to work in Australia. If it’s found that employees do not have working rights, sanctions will apply.
The sponsoring employer bears all the costs of the sponsorship and nomination fees. They can also pay for the visa application; although they can choose to pass this fee onto the applicant.
3. Skills Occupation List
Only people who have skills and qualifications listed on the Skills Occupation List can be nominated for the TSS visa. The Skills Occupation List is continually being reviewed and updated in order to ensure that it meets Australia’s labour-market needs.
You can read more about skilled visas here.
4. Labour market testing
Potential sponsors need to demonstrate to the Department of Home Affairs that they were unable to find a suitable Australian worker for the role. This generally involves advertising the position in Australia, including publishing the advertisement on at least two national websites. The position should be advertised at least 4 months before lodging a nominated application.
The employer must also keep a record of the recruitment process, including details about why other candidates were not suitable.
5. Skilling Australia Fund
The Skilling Australia Fund (SAF) was introduced in 2018 to grow apprenticeships and trainee programs to support Australian jobs and growth. All employer-sponsored applications, including the TSS, must contribute to this fund.
The amount required from a sponsor varies and depends on the visa and the turnover of the business. For example:
- a business with an annual turnover of less than $10 million would be required to contribute $2,400 for a 2-year visa, or $4,800 for a 4-year visa
- a business with an annual turnover of more than $10 million would be required to contribute $3,600 for a 2-year visa, or $7,200 for a 4-year visa.
6. Employment conditions
The sponsor must ensure that:
- the annual earnings of the sponsored employee are at least the same as those stated on the nomination application at the time that it was approved
- the employment conditions of the employment are not less favourable than those of an equivalent Australian worker.
For example, the sponsor will need to supply copies of the employment contract with the sponsored employee and of the other employees in the business. The contract must be a genuine contract that meets the requirements of a valid contract, and must be signed by both parties and dated.
Additionally, any sponsored employee is entitled to the protections provided by the Fair Work Act 2009.
7. Work requirements
The sponsored employee must only work in the occupation for which you nominated them and they are not permitted take on other forms of employment.
It’s also important to remember that the sponsored employee must work full time (less than 38 hours is considered part-time). Although this may seem obvious, even for jobs that are cyclical or involve shift work, the sponsor must still provide full-time employment. If the sponsor is unable to provide full-time employment, they cannot encourage or allow the sponsored employee to find employment elsewhere.
8. Travel costs for unsuccessful placements
If the employment does not work out, the sponsor must pay reasonable and necessary travel costs so that the sponsored employee and their sponsored family members can leave Australia. Costs include anything that is deemed ‘reasonable and necessary’.
If the sponsored employee leaves your employment, you must notify the Department of Home Affairs within 10 days of this change.
9. Costs to remove an unlawful non-citizen
If your sponsored employee, or any of their sponsored family members, becomes an unlawful non-citizen, you may have to repay the costs incurred by the Commonwealth in relocating and/or removing them from Australia.
How can we help?
If you are considering sponsoring a potential employee under a Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visa, or any other visa, our Migration Law team can advise you. You can contact us on 02 6285 8000 or by email to arrange an initial consultation.