Skilled workers coming to Australia can obviously command great pay packets but are there things they should be aware/wary of?
Philip Duncan, partner with Australian Immigration and Visa Lawyers, offers these helpful tips for anyone negotiating employment and visa terms before coming to Australia.
Keep in mind that if you’re going into boomtowns such as Mackay, Moranbah and Gladstone in Queensland the rents are often very high, which is obviously going to affect your standard of living. Some employers will subsidise your rent but you need to factor that in that’s when evaluating the real cost of moving to these regional centres.
Pay attention to how your salary is being packaged because most people who are here on a 457 visa are eligible for a living away from home allowance, which can make a big difference to your disposable income. However,these arrangements have to be made upfront.
Employers who are spending money on recruiting from overseas are very wary of retention, so they’ll often look at how can they add incentives to a package in order to keep an employee. Things that might be included in your package could be:
- Airfares for the family out to Australia
- Household moving expenses
- Paying for tools and other equipment to be brought out
- Accommodation for the first month or so after you arrive
- Retention bonuses further down the track
- If you’re looking for permanent residency you need to find out if your employer will be open to sponsoring you a year or two down the track.
Make sure you are paid market salary
In September 2009, the Australian Government required all employers of Temporary Business 457 visa holders to adhere to new a range of employer obligations. This includes ensuring equivalent terms and conditions of employment for foreign nationals holding a 457 visa, which means they must pay their overseas workers the market salary rate.
The introduction of market salary rates is part of a wider package of reforms introduced by the Australian Government to the 457 visa program designed to ensure that it provides industry with needed skills, while not undermining local training and employment opportunities or exploiting overseas workers.
The requirement to pay market salary rates means that sponsored 457 visa holders will benefit from the same terms and conditions of employment as are provided to an Australian undertaking equivalent work in the same workplace at the same location.
This package of reforms addresses many of the integrity issues associated with the 457 visa program highlighted by the business-led External Reference Group, the 457 Integrity Review, and by the Skilled Migration Consultative Panel.
The penalties are severe for any employer who does not comply with their legal obligations.
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