A Labour Agreement is a formal arrangement negotiated between an Australian employer (or industry) and the Australian Government, namely, the Department of Home Affairs.
Typically, a Labour Agreement is utilised by an employer to recruit overseas workers for occupations that cannot be sponsored under standard visa programs. In certain circumstances, a Labour Agreement can also provide concessions of some visa criteria such as English language or skill level. The terms and conditions of the Agreement are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Employers are required to provide substantial evidence of their genuine efforts to recruit locally for the relevant occupations in the relevant locations, as well as enlist support of relevant stakeholders.
If successful, a Labour Agreement generally provides access to temporary residence through the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa program; transition to permanent residence under the Employer Nomination Scheme may also be available. Like a Business Sponsorship, there are ongoing employer obligations that must be met in order to maintain the Agreement.
Some industry-specific Labour Agreements have been in place for many years, for example, agreements for Restaurant (Fine Dining), Dairy, Meat, Fishing, and Snow Sports industries as well as some religious organisations.
However, since the April 2017 changes to the occupations lists and limited pathways to permanent residence, Labour Agreements are being considered by an increasing number of our clients to meet some or all of their visa requirements.
Please contact your advisor if you wish to discuss your specific needs.
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