On Tuesday, 18 April, Malcolm Turnbull proudly announced to Australia that the Temporary Skilled Visa (subclass 457) would be abolished and replaced with two different visas for skilled foreign workers.
The 457 visa was designed to fill the skills shortage among the Australian workforce but has come under fire in recent times with accusations that employers are misusing the visa to give precedence to foreign workers over Australian workers in certain industries and job roles.
Turnbull and the LNP has responded to this criticism with the new changes which address these concerns through stricter compliance and checking on visa applicants and their employer sponsors.
From March 2018 the 457 visa will cease to exist. It will be replaced by:
Any business who currently employs skilled migrants will be affected by the changes. There will be a ‘grandfathering’ arrangement to reassure current visa holders however, long term plans for these visa holders are yet to be announced.
A number of industries are concerned about the effect this will have on their business with tech companies concerned about their ability to compete in the global marketplace, and the hospitality industry anxious that they won’t be able to attract staff who are in it for the long haul.
Others believe the changes will offer the spoils promised by Turnbull, to put Australians first and improve the job prospects of working Australians with some supporters believing the changes could go further to prioritise Australians in the workplace.
Will the repeal of the 457 visa leave a talent gap or does it not go far enough? Only time will tell but, in order to protect your business, now is the time to act.
If you’re an employer of skilled migrants there are a few things you should do now to prepare yourself and your workers for the inevitable changes:
For more information contact Darren Shone, Taxation Partner on (02) 49 622 688, or click the button below to find your nearest expert.
Darren is part of the specialist Taxation team at PKF Australia, and is based in our Newcastle office.
This specialisation has seen him develop extensive knowledge across GST, Capital Gains Tax, Income Tax and NSW State Taxes.
Covering the full spectrum of PKF clients, Darren works with closely held family business clients right through to the specific taxation issues faced by our large corporate and international clients.
Darren writes technical articles for taxation reference materials and journals used by other professional tax advisers, and teaches, examines and presents courses provided by The Tax Institute. He also sits on the NSW Education Committee of The Tax Institute.
Darren holds a Masters In Taxation, a designated CPA Specialist in Taxation, holds Chartered Tax Adviser status with The Tax Institute, and a Member of the National Tax and Accountants Association.
To contact Darren directly, click here.