We have witnessed a steady stream of amendments of late to the Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa regime. Such amendments are based primarily upon policies of the Australian Federal Government, media influence, public opinion, union lobbying, pressure from business groups and international trade relationships.
The most recent amendment to the subclass 457 visa program focuses on the new obligation for 457 business sponsors to engage in ‘Non-Discriminatory Recruitment Practices.’ We have outlined the new requirement below:
From attestation to obligation of ‘Non-Discriminatory Recruitment Practices’
From 19 April 2016, there is a new obligation whereby 457 business sponsors must not “engage in discriminatory recruitment practices.” Previously, when applying to become a 457 business sponsor, employers were required to attest that they did not engage in discriminatory recruitment practices, but now the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has rendered this provision binding on sponsors.
Essentially what this means is that whilst an employer is registered as a 457 business sponsor, they must be able to demonstrate a commitment to employing local labour.
What is a discriminatory recruitment practice?
The Australian Government has stated that a ‘discriminatory recruitment practice’ will be defined as “a recruitment practice that directly, or indirectly, discriminates against a person based on the immigration status or citizenship of the person, other than a practice engaged in to comply with a Commonwealth, State or Territory law.”
It does not include discrimination in recruitment based on other grounds such as sex, gender, race, social group or pregnancy. These issues are dealt with by other agencies such as the Fair Work Ombudsman or the Australian Human Rights Commission.
How will the new ‘Non-Discriminatory Recruitment Practices’ obligation affect employers?
Businesses which are sponsoring, or needing to sponsor, overseas workers on subclass 457 visas will be impacted in the following ways:
- When applying to become a 457 visa sponsor, an employer must show that it has not engaged in discriminatory recruitment practices; and
- When a business is registered as a business sponsor, it needs to ensure that it does not engage in discrimination against a person based on the immigration status or citizenship of the person.
How can employers abide by this requirement?
The binding obligation for 457 business sponsors was introduced to ensure that employers do not rely on the 457 visa program to employ foreign workers without having regard to the availability of local labour.
In order to help establish that 457 business sponsors have met the new obligation we recommend that:
- Employers applying to act as 457 business sponsors: Businesses acknowledge in writing that they will not discriminate against local workers in their recruitment practices.
- Employers already registered as 457 business sponsors: Sponsors keep documents on hand that demonstrate how subclass 457 visa holders were recruited and that this process did not discriminate based on citizenship or visa status.
For advice regarding Australian work visas and sponsoring overseas workers, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com for Australian immigration assistance.
The information on this website is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on relevant matters. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. You are advised to seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained in this website.