Clarifying who can enter into a labour agreement
Any legally operating Australian business entity, including an industry association, can request access to overseas workers through a labour agreement, provided they meet all the requirements of the program.
One of the major requirements underpinning employer-sponsored migration is the direct relationship between the sponsor and employee. A direct relationship means the sponsor has complete responsibility for managing the employee, including their pay, work duties and welfare. Overseas workers are best protected in this arrangement.
Recruitment agencies which wish to sponsor and then hire out overseas workers may negotiate an on-hire template labour agreement which allows for on-hire to other businesses while the recruitment agency remains legally responsible for the worker.
On-hire agreements are only for workers in highly skilled occupations and sponsors must participate in a rigorous assessment process. The sponsoring recruitment agency must meet training benchmarks and bear full responsibility for the sponsorship obligations including paying the overseas worker appropriately.
Industry bodies have an important and valued role in labour agreements and are usually consulted by employers as part of negotiations. The industry bodies can provide advice on core labour agreement issues such as labour market demand for certain occupations, market salary data and skills assessment advice. In some industries, the industry body is also an industry training fund, which means they can assist employers meet training benchmarks through receipt of training funds.
Leave a comment below if you have any questions or would like more information about labour agreements.