Is Your Business Meeting Its Visa Obligations?
Sharath Komarraju | On 19, Jun 2014
If you have a business and you’re employing overseas workers, you must actively contribute to training Australian employees too, and if you aren’t, it’s likely that you will hear from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
Until July 2013, businesses needed to show their active participation over a 12-month period in providing specific training to their Australian employees, or in allocating funds to industry training relevant to their operations. This step was taken by the Immigration department to ensure that the 457 Visa programme doesn’t undermine the interests and job opportunities of Australians.
Since July 2013, though, this training obligation has been taken a step further by requiring businesses to be involved in the training programmes during the entire time they act as sponsors for 457 Visa holders. The benchmarks are at least 2% of the business payroll in allocating funds for industry-specific training, or at least 1% of the business payroll in the case of the business providing training directly to its Australian employees.
Businesses are expected to meet one of these requirements for the entire time they have 457 Visa holders in their payroll.
The Department of Border Protection (DIBP) undertakes regular checks on businesses to make sure they’re complying to the necessary standards. Delinquents can be barred for up to five years from sponsoring overseas workers, in addition to cancelling the existing sponsorships. They can also hit the business with a one-time civil penalty order to the tune of $51,000.
So if you haven’t already, hasten to make your business compliant, so that when the DIBP comes knocking, you will have nothing to fear.