The Senate has today passed legislation for the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) Levy after further debate on the Government’s bill.
The SAF Levy is not yet operational however, and the Department of Home Affairs is yet to confirm when businesses will begin to be charged SAF Levy fees.
Labour Market Testing legislation was also passed, introducing more onerous requirements for employers.
Labour Market Testing Requirements
The below labour market testing requirements have been amended, requiring employers to more rigorously test the local market prior to sponsoring a visa holder.
Employers will need to:
- Advertise for a position a maximum of 4 months before submitting a nomination to sponsor a visa holder (instead of 6 months)
- Ensure the position is advertised for 4 weeks (instead of 21 days)
- Clearly note the required skills and experience for the nominated position in the advertisement
While we had expected the above changes, the legislation approved today also introduces a requirement for employers to ensure their advertisements:
(a) will be targeted in such a way that a significant proportion of suitably qualified and experienced Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents would be likely to be informed about the position;
It is yet to be determined how the Department of Home Affairs will practically validate variable terms such as ‘significant proportion’ and ‘likely to be informed’, however we expect that employers will need to provide more substantial evidence to satisfy this new requirement. Our migration team will be able to guide and assist you.
We have also been advised an independent review of the SAF legislation will be undertaken within 18 months.
Support throughout the changes | Visa Tools
Interstaff have developed several visa tools to assist you or your business to understand the recent changes to employer-sponsored visas. You can view these here.
We will keep you updated on the implementation date of the SAF Levy and further developments as they arise.