28 July 2020
COVID-19: Potential Impact on Labour Market Testing for TSS Visas
With the onset of COVID-19, we have been seeing a slowdown in the processing of TSS nominations, especially those that fall under the short-term occupation list. It is expected that with the media attention surrounding the over 1 million unemployed Australians, the Department of Home Affairs will start to apply greater scrutiny on labour market testing. This may potentially lead to some refusals if the Department of Home Affairs is not convinced that the sponsor has not genuinely attempted to test the local labour market. However, there is clearly still a need for skills especially given the government’s efforts to stimulate the economy but greater care is needed when lodging applications.
Labour market testing is a time of application requirement, which means that if it is not done correctly, an application will be refused automatically. Not only can a refused application have a significant impact on the sponsoring business’s ability to have their employee start work, it also results in a significant financial cost.
Since 12 August 2018, businesses wishing to sponsor foreign workers have been required to pay a Skilling Australians Fund (‘SAF’) Levy with each application they submit. For a TSS visa, this can be $1,200 or $1,800 per year being requested on the visa, depending on if the annual turnover of the sponsor. If a TSS nomination is refused as a result of labour market testing this levy is not refundable. This can result in a financial loss of up to $7,200 and the need for a new application to be lodged, which will incur the same fees.
It is very important to seek advice from your Ajuria advisor before proceeding with a TSS visa. With the greater scrutiny we are expecting around labour market testing, especially for hard hit industries like hospitality, more than even it is no longer a matter of ticking a box and showing that the advertising met the immigration requirements. We will need to provide thorough explanations as to why the candidates were not suitable for the role.
Due to the fluidity of labour market testing and the changes that may come in response to COVID-19 and the significant numbers of unemployed Australians, we recommend you seek advice to avoid experiencing a refusal that is both costly and timely.
DISCLAIMER This information is current as of 28 July 2020 and subject to change. The information contained in this publication is of a general nature only. It should not be used as legal advice. To the extent permissible by law, Ajuria Lawyers and its associated entities shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, defects or misrepresentations in the information or for any loss or damage suffered by persons who use or rely on such information. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.