On 2 September 2020, the Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, the Hon Alan Tudge MP, and the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, announced the introduction of a new priority skills list and strengthened labour market testing requirements.
Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL)
As part of the announcement, Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) has been introduced to fast track the processing of Subclass 482/494/489/491 temporary visa applications with the provision to bypass Australia’s stringent border entry restriction to combat the spread of COVID-19. More information on PMSOL, refer to our recent post.
Enhanced Labour Market Testing (LMT) Requirement
Existing Labour Market Testing (LMT) requirements have been amended in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has severely distrupted Australia’s labour market, resulting in job losses for many Australian workers. As such, the Australian Government has decided to enhance the current LMT conditions to ensure Australian workers are prioritised for job opportunities in Australia.
The amendment will be made through amendment instrument “LIN 20/156: Jobactive – Period, manner and evidence of labour market testing” which amends the “Migration (LIN 18/036: Period, manner and evidence of labour market testing) Instrument 2018“.
Under the amendment, nominated position for the following visas has to be advertised on the Australian Government’s Jobactive website (https://jobsearch.gov.au/) in addition to two other advertisements that must be published in line with existing requirements:
- Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa
- Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa
- Subclass 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) visa
This measure ensures that appropriately skilled Australian citizens and permanent residents are given work opportunities before overseas skilled workers when a business nominates a vacancy.
This additional requirement applies to nominations lodged on or after 1 October 2020. Any nominations lodged before 1 October 2020 will not be affected by this new requirement.
Enhanced Scrutiny for Subclass 186 ENS and Subclass 187 RSMS Nominations
In addition, to ensure that job opportunities for Australian workers are being prioritised, the Department of Home Affairs will be further scrutinising nominations for Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) & Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa in relation to Australian workers employed by the nominating business in similar occupations based on events such as:
- retrenchments in the previous 12 months
- reduction of hours worked during the previous 12 months
- reduction in pay and conditions within the previous 12 months
- employment of a temporary visa holder on conditions less favourable than Australians
- recruitment of temporary visa holders beyond the ordinary scope of the business