A Labour Agreement is a formal arrangement negotiated between the Australian government and an employer (or a group of employers) that allows them to sponsor and nominate skilled workers from overseas for temporary or permanent visas. Labour Agreements are designed to address specific skill shortages that cannot be filled by the local labour market and cater to unique labour market needs.
Key points about the Labour Agreement application process:
- Employer Needs: Employers seeking to address skill shortages that are not covered by standard skilled migration programs can consider applying for a Labour Agreement. This is often relevant when the positions or occupations required are not on the standard skilled occupation lists.
- Negotiation: The employer initiates the process by expressing their intention to enter into a Labour Agreement. The negotiation process involves discussions with the Department of Home Affairs to determine the specific terms and conditions of the agreement.
- Specific Occupations: A Labour Agreement can cover specific occupations, skills, or industries that align with the employer’s needs. The agreement outlines the number of positions, required skills, and other relevant criteria.
- Visa Types: A Labour Agreement can cover various types of visas, including Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visas (Subclass 482), Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visas (Subclass 186), or other relevant visas.
- Labour Market Testing: In some cases, employers may be required to demonstrate that they have undertaken adequate labor market testing to show that they cannot find suitable local workers for the positions covered by the agreement.
- Application Process: The application process involves submitting a proposal to the Department of Home Affairs. This proposal outlines the specific details of the Labour Agreement, including the positions, terms, and other relevant information.
- Assessment and Approval: The Department of Home Affairs assesses the proposal and considers whether the Labour Agreement is in the public interest and aligns with Australia’s labour market needs. If approved, the Labour Agreement is formalised and allows the employer to sponsor and nominate overseas workers.
- Obligations: Employers with approved Labour Agreements must adhere to the terms and conditions outlined in the agreement. This includes ensuring that sponsored workers receive fair treatment and that their employment conditions meet Australian standards.