Federal Election To Impact Employment Of Foreign Workers

Depending on who wins the upcoming Federal election, you can expect changes to workplace and migration legislation.

The Liberal party has announced that if elected to a new term of government, it will reduce the migration ceiling from 190,000 to 160,000 places.

In an effort to move migrants from major cities into regional areas, it will introduce two new visas for skilled workers requiring them to live and work in regional Australia for three years before being able to access permanent residence. 23,000 places will be set aside for these regional visas.

And it will introduce new tertiary scholarships to attract Australian and international students to study in regional Australia ($15,000 scholarships will be available to more than 1000 domestic and international students each year). This will give international students studying at regional universities access to an additional year in Australia on a post-study work visa.

The Labor Party’s policies on workplace law include the tightening of the way ‘big business’ uses the Temporary Skill Shortage visa, (the 482 visa), and implementation of strategies to ensure all jobs are advertised in Australia (ie labour market testing) before they can be awarded to a foreign employee. A new Australian Skills Authority, an independent labour market testing body, will be established to determine genuine skills needs. This will directly impact foreign companies wishing to parachute their management into Australia. However, labour market testing is not required where the International Trade Obligation Exemption applies.

Additionally, it has announced:

  • The reform of enterprise bargaining to increase union power,
  • The reintroduction of penalty rates for weekend work,
  • More government contracts to be awarded to small and medium-sized Australian businesses, and
  • Opposition to the privatisation of visa processing.

The Labor Party has close relations with the Australian Council of Trade Unions and as such, its workplace law policy is strongly influenced by ACTU policy announcements. The ACTU’s priorities include:

  • Reduce employers’ rights to hire people on casual labour contracts,
  • Unions to gain greater rights to bargain across an industry sector rather than with individual companies,
  • Minimum wage level to increase,
  • Labour hire companies will be less able to supply staff instead of normal employees,
  • Gender pay gap to be eliminated, and
  • The rights of workers to take industrial action to be protected and enhanced.

Ayers has been helping companies to sponsor foreign workers into Australia for over 20 years. As one of few companies to be approved by the Department of Immigration to sponsor, hire and even on-hire international workers, we are able to employ international workers as our tax employees, then on-hire them to you for contractual employment. Talk to an Ayers Group expert today.