AMMA Migration Services provides this update on upcoming amendments to Australia’s temporary skilled migration laws, including employer obligations as part of the labour market testing regulations effective from 23 November 2013.

AGAINST recommendations submitted by resource employer group AMMA, the former Labor government passed amendments to the Migration Act in June and while the bulk of those amendments came into effect on 1 July 2013, the labour market testing provisions came into effect several weeks ahead of schedule.

A complete policy summary from AMMA’s Migration Services experts can be found here.

Labour Market Testing

As announced by Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Michaelia Cash, the labour market testing prerequisite for the recruitment of foreign skilled workers on 457 visas came into effect on 23 November 2013.

Labour market testing means that employers seeking to access the subclass 457 visa program to employ an overseas worker to fill a nominated vacancy in their business must first test the local labour market to ensure there is no suitably qualified and experienced Australian citizen or permanent resident or ‘eligible temporary visa holder’ readily available to fill that position.

Offshore Resources Activities

Unless the federal government decides on an earlier date, the Migration Amendment (Offshore Resources Activity) Act 2013 will come into effect on 30 June 2014.

Upon its commencement, the Act will amend the Migration Act 1958 to deem people who participate in or support an “offshore resources activity” to be in the migration zone where the activity occurs in areas, including state and territory and international waters, off the Australian coastline.

The amendment is intended to supplement current Migration Act provisions which define, as part of the migration zone, Australian resources installations and Australian sea installations. Accordingly, such people would be required to comply with the Migration Act.

AMMA’s plans in 2014

On behalf of resource industry employer’s AMMA’s consistent message has been that, while the resource industry remains committed to training and up-skilling local workers, skilled migration plays a small but important role in meeting labour sourcing challenges as they arise.

The combined effect of the 2013 changes has been additional costs to businesses and lengthier processing times, meaning greater pressure on employers if projects are to be on time and within budget.

Moving forward into 2014, AMMA’s strong message to the federal government through 2013 will continue into the New Year.

Need advice?

As the resource industry’s workforce experts, AMMA’s Legal and Migration team can provide guidance and consultation to ensure compliance in your organisation. For more information about newly commenced and upcoming legislative changes to Australia’s temporary skilled migration program, contact Jules Pedrosa on (02) 9211 3566.