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Rise in number of 457 holders

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HC Online | 15 May 2013, 12:00 AM Agree 0
Australia Post is the latest employer to be accused by a union of employing unskilled workers on 457 visa holders to deliver parcels and sort mail.
  • SDM | 15 May 2013, 06:16 PM Agree 0
    I work for a business which employs people on a 457 visa in 'white collar' roles. We are required to submit the person's contract as well as evidence that their salary is comparible in the business or if it's a new role, then benchmarked against market value. Furthermore, you can only sponsor people for roles which have been identified by the Departtment of Immigration & outlined in the ANZSCO codes as being a skill required in Australia. So, what I don't understand, is how people are being sponsored for roles 'in delivery' and being underpaid? Based on the work we put into our 457 applications, i cannot see how this is happening?
  • MP | 16 May 2013, 01:42 PM Agree 0
    Maybe it's time the grey area of sub-contracting is thoroughly investigated as it is a very useful loophole to use someone's services on a full time basis yet have no responsibilities as an employer. A sub-contractor is made to believe they are a business in their own right, yet the freedoms that are usually associated with that like 'having a price' for their service and a say in the hours, does not exist as the contractor dictates what will be paid and also very often the hours that will be worked. So a rather employee/employer relationship but with no obligations by the employer like paying Super or insurance for their workers. The phrases "It's all up to you" and "It depends.." is very often the answer to explain how much you will earn hourly and a way of hiding exploitation.
  • SHGM | 16 May 2013, 04:28 PM Agree 0
    Further to the comments by SDM, if what the union is saying is correct (and I doubt that this is the full story), the employer must have lodged a fraudulent 457 visa application or is not complying with their obligations as a sponsor. If so, the Department of Immigration has existing powers to investigate and sanction the employer. The recent calls for a need to change the 457 regime to combat "wide spread rorting" has not been substantiated and is inconsistent with the Department's own evidence from late 2012 and the report of the Immigration Council of Australia of 11 May 2013. It must be seen for what it is, a nod to the unions for refraining from criticising the government in the lead up to the election.
  • SDM | 16 May 2013, 07:02 PM Agree 0
    Completely agree SHGM. Regardless of whether Australia post in this example is directly employing a person on a 457 visa or through a 3rd party is irrelevant. The obligation to prove to the Department of Immigration that the person being sponsored is a) in a role outlined in the ANZSCO & b)being paid accordingly sits with the employer which is NOT Australia post. If this "box" is ticked, then surely the rest is moot. The issue of whether a person is employed by a sub contractor is irrelevant & the responsibility for adhering to what I understand to be comprehensive laws & controls lies with that employer. When I engage a supplier for services, I can negotiate a price only as low as the supplier is prepared to go taking into consideration their own P&L. I am not responsible for how they get there (although if I knew they were engaging in unethical or illegal practices, I would not use them - I would report them). In this case the unions are conveniently utilising a well known brand to make a point ... what the point is, I have no idea. If I could find the right calibre of people in Australia, I would hire an Aussie in a heart beat. Every single person I bring in on a 457 visa costs me a hell of a lot more than anyone I hire locally. By the time I cover the costs of relocation (in most instances entire families), help them get settled, pay a salary disproportionately higher than an australian due to conversion rates etc etc. I'd take an aussie any day of the week. The issue here is that our overheads are too high & get higher, driven by things like rent & wages. So businesses have eliminated roles by offshoring or not investing in things like graduate programmes etc & we have consequently lost talent and expereince in our local market which we are now buying from overseas. If we're going to spent time complaining & seeking solutions, perhaps this is the problem to look to resolve?
  • Bernhard Racz | 16 May 2013, 07:15 PM Agree 0
    why simply pick on those employers 'found' to be 'playing' with the rules re 457 visas, yet totally ignore all the employers and organisations that continue to not only 'employ' and increase the number of VOLUNTEERS?
    The use of these VOLUNTEERS (unpaid) takes away work positions from otherwise eligible Australians. Isn't this an offence as well?
  • LD | 17 May 2013, 01:05 PM Agree 0
    Actually, if there are non-Australians doing volunteer work it could be because they struggle to find work even though they were legally allowed to migrate. Being told they lack Australian work experience, they try to rectify the situation by volunteering. If someone's foreign working experience doesn't mean anything and they're also not allowed to volunteer, what should they do? Most people who migrate want to work; if it poses a threat to Australians working, don't approve migration.
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