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A simpler process for 457 visas

RecruitmentMarch 24, 2015

A simpler process for 457 visas (Last Updated On: March 24, 2015)

Employers with workers on 457 visas will be affected by the Federal Government’s decision to simplify the 457 visa program. These changes could take the pressure off smaller businesses by reducing the time and cost of employing foreign workers.

The government recently reviewed the 457 program and took on most of the recommendations. The biggest changes are to relax the English language proficiency required and penalise employers who exploit the 457 program, but the requirement to advertise locally before finding foreign workers will remain.

The English language test will be more flexible because, rather than having to pass each part, applicants receive an average score. The government thinks this is a minimal change, but unions are worried employees who do not speak English well could be a potential threat to health and safety, especially in hazardous industries like building and construction.

While the review recommended getting rid of labour market testing – advertising locally first for suitable candidates – the government has not taken that any further yet. Industry groups are not impressed by labour market testing because it costs money to advertise, and they say it is ineffective.

Any employers who exploit the 457 visa program, for example, by accepting money in exchange for sponsoring workers, will face new penalties. While the review did not reveal any widespread rorting, the government will keep an eye on any businesses suspected of doing the wrong thing.

A simpler process for 457 visas should make it easier for smaller businesses who often struggle with the burden of paperwork when employing people. We recommend you seek our advice before employing foreign workers. Call Employsure for advice today on 1300 651 415 or fill in the form below.

*Information sourced via HC online and ABC online.

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