News
28.06.13

457 FOREIGN WORKER VISA SCHEME HAS PASSED THE LOWER HOUSE

In March this year, former Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced a crackdown on abuses of the 457 foreign worker visa.  

In yet another milestone for former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, to deliver legislation in a hostile minority government, the Federal Government's bill to crack down on the 457 foreign worker visa scheme passed the Lower House on Thursday 27 June 2013.

The bill passed 73 votes to 72 after the Government yesterday struck a compromise deal with crucial crossbench MPs.

The new laws will force employers to do local labour market testing to prove they cannot find an Australian citizen to do the job before sponsoring an overseas worker on a 457 visa.

Employers will also have to spend a percentage of total payroll on training. Employers can either spend:

  • Expenditure to the equivalent of at least 2 per cent of the payroll of the business, in payments allocated to an industry training fund that operates in the same industry as the business
  • expenditure to the equivalent of at least 1 per cent of the payroll of the business, in the provision of training to employees of the business who are Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents (your Australian employees).

Fair Work inspectors will be empowered to investigate potential breaches of the system.