Labour Agreement TSS 482 Visa: Northern Territory – Businesses

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Labour Agreement TSS 482 Visa: Northern Territory – Businesses

Are you a business located in the Northern Territory? Are you looking to employ but are finding it difficult to find suitable candidates to occupy vacant positions? You might want to take a look at entering into a labour agreement with the Australian government, which would allow you to sponsor overseas workers to fill those positions.

The Northern Territory has an existing Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA), which allows businesses in this region to access certain occupations for the sponsorship of overseas workers that are not otherwise available under the current migration programs. These occupations are for semi-skilled workers, and allow for certain concessions with skill level, salary level and even English proficiency.

In this article, we cover the requirements and benefits for a business under the Northern Territory DAMA. Our previous article we covered the requirements of a potential visa applicant – what the requirements and benefits are as a labour agreement Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) applicant, under the Northern Territory DAMA.

Occupations under the DAMA agreement

There are 117 occupations under this DAMA agreement. These are the occupations that a business can access. The link below covers all the occupations under Northern Territory’s DAMA as well as their skill levels. Our previous article covered how a visa applicant would meet these skill levels.

Find: Occupation list under the Northern Territory DAMA

The Northern Territory DAMA is unique in that it provide access to 3 occupations that are not in ANZSCO, being:

  • Bar attendant (supervisor)
  • Waiter (supervisor)
  • Cook (specialist ethnic cuisine)

For these occupations, applicants need to demonstrate that they have skills, qualifications and experience that align to the following:

Business requirements

Business in the Northern Territory may enter into a labour agreement with the Australian government if they are:

  • Activity operating in the Northern Territory
  • Are viable and have been operating for at least 12 months
  • All positions are to be filled in Northern Territory
  • Have no history or not meeting its obligations to employees
  • Are looking to employ overseas workers to fill full time positions with duties that align with one of the occupations under the Northern Territory DAMA list
  • Can demonstrate that they are unable to fill the position locally with Australia citizens or permanent residents
  • Can provide terms and conditions of employment to overseas workers that are in accordance with those offered to Australian workers employed in the region.

Factors into your grant of a labour agreement:

  • The Department of Trade, Business and Innovation will assess your current and future workforce needs to determine which occupations and concessions requested will be endorsed under the Northern Territory DAMA
  • How many positions can be nominated for each occupation and for each concession
  • The endorsement to access the Northern Territory DAMA is for up to five years, however the endorsement of occupations and numbers of positions to be filled is valid for one year. Businesses seeking to access more overseas workers will need to apply to the department for endorsement of occupations and the number of vacant positions each year.

Adverse information

No ‘adverse information’ is a criteria that affects all employer sponsored visas. If you are looking to enter into a labour agreement with the Australian government to sponsor overseas workers, this is a requirement you will have to fulfill.

What is adverse information? Examples of adverse information include the presence of:

  • A person having contravened a law of the Commonwealth, State or Territory
  • A person being under investigation, subject to disciplinary action or subject to legal proceedings
  • A person having been a subject of administrative action
  • A person having become insolvent
  • A person having provided bogus documentation or information that is false or misleading in a material particular
  • Other adverse information

Read: What is adverse information

This affects both the sponsoring business as well as the visa applicant.

As a business, you must provide a statement confirming that your business or any entity you have been associated with has not been investigated or audited in the past five years on compliance in regards to:

  • Migration
  • Industrial relations and workplace relations
  • Occupations health and safety

What if your business has been investigated or audited? In such situations, your business will need to provide an explanation and that explanation should include information on the following:

  • The nature of the adverse information
  • How the adverse information arose, including the credibility of the source of the adverse information
  • In the case of an alleged contravention of a law, whether the allegations have been substantiated or not
  • Whether the adverse information arose recently or some time ago
  • Whether your business has taken any steps to ensure the circumstances that led to the adverse information don’t happen again
  • Information about findings made by a relevant authority* in relation to the adverse information and the significance attached by the competent authority to the adverse information.

Exceptions

Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT)

A business can apply for a Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) concession if there is a strong business case. That is, to pay an employee under the labour agreement stream TSS 482 visa at a level that is under the TSMIT requirement, which at the time of this article being published, is $53,900.

Read: TSS 482, ENS & RSMS Visas: Salary Requirements

Regardless, the business still needs to be offering a salary that is at least what an Australian citizen or permanent resident could expect doing the same job, at the same skill level, in the same location.

For all the following concessions, the business will need to provide evidence on how they meet the requirements for the TSMIT concession. This will require a careful and clear construction showing a breakdown of how the concession type is met.

The TSMIT concessions available for employers are:

Concession type 1 – up to a 10% concession to the TSMIT

Businesses must demonstrate the annual monetary earnings provided will be no less than 90% of the TSMIT, ie no less than $48,510.

Concession type 2 – up to a 10% concession to the TSMIT, and the inclusion of non-monetary earnings (other)

Businesses must demonstrate that the annual earnings provided will be no less than 90% of the TSMIT, ie no less than $48,510.

These annual earnings can be comprised of ‘non-monetary earnings (other)’ to the value of up to $4,851. Non-monetary earnings (other) refers to benefits other than food and board (eg, phone, vehicle, flights).

Concession type 3 – up to a 10% concession to the TSMIT less non-monetary earnings (food and board)

Businesses must demonstrate that the annual earnings provided will be no less than 90% of the TSMIT, ie no less than $48,510.

These annual earnings can be comprised of ‘non-monetary earnings (food and board)’. This refers to accommodation and meals benefits and cannot exceed published homestay accommodation rates for the Northern Territory.

Read: Homestay rates in the Northern Territory

Concession type 4 – up to a 10% concession to the TSMIT less non-monetary earnings (all)

Businesses must demonstrate that the annual earnings provided will be no less than 90% of the TSMIT, ie no less than $48,510.

These annual earnings can be comprised of ‘non-monetary earnings (food and board)’ and ‘non-monetary earnings (other)’. Non-monetary earnings (food and board) refers to accommodation and meals benefits and cannot exceed published homestay accommodation rates for the NT.

Non-monetary earnings (other) refers to benefits other than food and board (eg, phone, vehicle, flights) and is capped at $4,851.

Employers that seek concessions based on non-monetary benefits provided to overseas workers must ensure the:

  • Benefits support the living costs of the overseas worker, and
  • Overseas worker would have incurred that cost had it not been provided by the approved sponsor, and
  • Benefits are quantifiable, and
  • Benefits are consistent with terms and conditions provided to existing Australians employed in a similar position, and
  • Benefits are guaranteed in the employment contract, and
  • Benefits exclude contingent payments such as overtime (other than guaranteed overtime), bonuses and commissions.

Note that businesses are still required to pay the Skilling Australian Fund levy. This levy came into effect in August 2018.

Read: TSS, ENS & RSMS Visas: Skilling Australians Fund In effect From 12 August 2018

English language concession

Your business will need to make a case as to why the English language concession is applicable to your business. This could potentially be how a vegetable grower [121221] may not need as much skill in the English language to successfully perform their role.

Labour Market Testing

Similar to other employer sponsored visas, businesses will need to show that they have attempted to fill the position with an Australian citizen or permanent resident, but have not been successful. The business must show that this is despite offering terms of employment and salary that meets the market standard. In our previous article we have covered what the government looks for with the Labour Market Testing (LMT) requirement.

Read: Temporary Skill Shortage 482 Visa: Labour Market Testing (LMT) Requirement

The Northern Territory State requires that the business has tried to employ an Australian citizen or permanent resident over the last four months.

The Northern Territory State also suggests some ways in which the business can try to employ an Australian citizen or permanent resident as follows:

  • Contact a recruitment agency
  • Advertise a vacancy in:
    • newspapers
    • professional and trade publications
    • industry associations’ newsletters.
  • Advertise on a recruitment website like:
    • CareerOne – if you advertise a vacancy in the NT News or the Centralian Advocate your vacancy will also be published on this site
    • Seek
    • Adzuna
    • Australian JobSearch.
  • Work with Job Services Australia, who work with businesses to assess the types of workers required and attempt to match them with trained and work ready job seekers.
  • Consider employing an apprentice – if you don’t have enough work for an ongoing or full-time apprenticeship position, group training organisations can organise to share an apprentice with another business, go to the Australian Apprenticeships website.

It would be beneficial to the business in making their LMT case that they have used some of the above suggested methods in searching for a local Australian citizen or permanent resident in filling their vacant position.

Are you a business in the Northern Territory looking to enter into a labour agreement with the government? Find out more about what it takes to enter and maintain such an agreement and how this will benefit you in finding the right workers for your business. Australian Immigration Law Services has a two decade long history in helping both employers and potential employees solve their visa woes. Call +61 2 8054 2537, 0434 890 199 or book online today to speak to our migration specialists.

Amy Kim