Labour Market Testing became a mandatory requirement for TSS visa applications on 18 March 2018. An exemption exists where the sponsored employee is a national of a country with whom the Australian Government has a Trade Agreement.
With an election looming, this is emerging as a point of difference between the Government and the Opposition Labor Party. For some time, the Labor Party has expressed its concern about this exemption, and indicated that it would seek to amend existing trade agreements, by closing this exemption provision. It has also advised that this exemption would not be part of any future trade agreement that a future Labor Government would negotiate.
The Labor Party’s position was further clarified with the Hon Jason Clare MP, introducing A Fair Go For Australians in Trade Bill 2018 into Parliament on 15 October 2018. One of the objectives of this Bill is:
to improve the way that the Australian Government negotiates trade agreements by prohibiting the inclusion of clauses that undermine the temporary skilled migration system.
This Bill therefore calls for the Labour Market Testing exemption to be removed from trade agreements. Whether the Bill is passed or not, the Labor Party is signalling its intentions to take a stricter view of Labour Market Testing.
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