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Labour Agreements: Playing Vital Role in Australian Skilled Migration

December 2019, 03
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Labour Agreements: Playing Vital Role in Australian Skilled Migration
Australian work visa program has experienced the most consistent refinement over the past decade. From 8 Feb 2010 when the General Skilled Migration visa professions list was cut considerably by the introduction of two latest regional visas in November 2019, no other program has been revamped this much.

As such, Australian skilled visas are massively regulated. Several regulations need to be met below the regular business sponsor regime for business nomination, sponsorship, and eventually for a Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (Subclass 482) visa to be awarded.

Labor agreements are individually negotiated agreements within organizations and the Home Affairs Department to enable businesses to sponsor abroad workers outside of the regular business sponsor regime. For instance, so they can choose workers in professions that are not on the authorized occupations list.

Authorized sponsors can nominate abroad workers for Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (Subclass 482) visa, and now Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (Subclass 494) visas. There is also scope for companies to negotiate to transition these workers to permanent Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visas.

Few Types of Labor Agreements:

  • Industry labor agreements
  • Global talent employer-sponsored labor agreements 
  • Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs) 
  • Project labor agreements 
  • Company-specific labor agreements 

The regulations for labor contracts are purposefully relaxed. It is because the regulations need to provide all manner of opportunities, including concessions for salary,  English language, skills and even to on-hire workers to other businesses, which is banned below the standard business sponsor regime.

Nevertheless, labor agreements are constantly being utilized as per the recent FOI request on the constitution of labor agreements at the close of the 2018 fiscal year. The important insights Include:

Key Insights Include:

  • Labor agreements make up 4.5% of entire Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visa grants and 2.8% of the entire Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visa grants;
  • A 9.2% increase in the number of contracts at the close of the 2018 fiscal year (332 agreements) related to the 2017 fiscal year. The current record reveals 388 executed labor agreements;
  • The most popular labor agreement is the minister of a religion (21% of total), accompanied by company-specific (19% of total) and DAMA agreements (18% of total);
  • Processing times for 76% of labor agreements were higher than 6 months, with 85 on-hand (yet to be determined) labor agreements as of July 2018;

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