A Perth company has recently advertised on Gumtree seeking 457
only. This has caused controversy in the already volatile
employment industry of Western Australia.
What is a 457 Visa?
The 457 visa allows businesses to hire workers from overseas
with specialised skills. The 457 visa once granted, allows that
individual to work in Australia for a period of up to four years
with a sponsored business. Under this visa, they can also bring
their partner and children to live with them in Australia. The
visas were designed to be used to fill positions that cannot be
filled by local workers.
In or around June 2016, there were approximately 95,000
temporary skilled migrants in Australia under the 457 visa
In Australia currently, there are approximately 12 million
workers, of these 457 visa holders account for less than 1 per
cent. The majority of 457 visa workers come from India with 25% and
the UK with 17%. Australian law legislates that 457 visa workers
are to be paid the same wage as Australian workers and the minimum
salary for a 457 visa worker is approximately $53,000 per annum, if
a business wishes to retain their services. The average salary of a
457 worker is $94,200, including superannuation.
With unemployment in Western Australia being at 6.5%, the
highest it's been since 2002, there are concerns that
Australian workers are being replaced with 457 visa holders who may
be more willing to work longer hours and for lesser pay.
There are also concerns that employers once agreeing to sponsor
a 457 visa worker may use their sponsorship as a means of
exploiting the 457 visa worker who is dependent on the employer to
stay in the country.
This advertisement may be considered discriminatory as it
prevents Australian workers from applying for the job on the basis
that they are Australian. Under the Racial Discrimination Act, it
is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of his or her
race, colour, descent, national origin or ethnic origin.
In 2016, the amount of time 457 visa workers were allowed to
spend before securing further employment was reduced from 90 to 60
days by Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton. While Mr Dutton said
this was to give Australians a better chance of competing for jobs,
this change has been criticised with many arguing that the result
will do the opposite as with less time to find work, 457 visa
workers will be more inclined to work for less and in exploitive
If you are in a 457 visa worker and want to find out more about
migrating to Australia you should seek specific advice from a
specialist Migration Lawyer.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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If you employ 457 visa holders in your business, you should ensure that you are meeting your sponsorship requirements.
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