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New! Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List

New! Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List

A new Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) was announced on 2  September 2020.


This list aims to support Australia’s economic recovery after COVID-19 based on advice from the National Skills Commission and consultation with relevant Commonwealth agencies, and comprises:

  • 111111: Chief Executive or Managing Director
  • 133111: Construction Project Manager
  • 233512: Mechanical Engineer
  • 253111: General Practitioner
  • 253112: Resident Medical Officer
  • 253411: Psychiatrist
  • 253999: Medical Practitioner nec
  • 254111: Midwife
  • 254412: Registered Nurse (Aged Care)
  • 254415: Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency)
  • 254418: Registered Nurse (Medical)
  • 254422: Registered Nurse (Mental Health)
  • 254423: Registered Nurse (Perioperative)
  • 254499: Registered Nurses nec
  • 261312: Developer Programmer
  • 261313: Software Engineer
  • 312911: Maintenance Planner

The PMSOL will be reviewed and updated regularly depending upon its impact and changes in the economy.

Exemptions and Priority Cases

Offshore visa holders who have been sponsored by an Australian business in a PMSOL occupation can request an exemption from Australia’s travel restrictions but will be subject to a strict 14 day quarantine period on arrival at their own expense.
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Tougher Labour Market Testing and Nomination requirements due to COVID

New! Tougher Labour Market Testing and Nomination requirements due to COVID

The Australian Government has recently taken steps to protect job opportunities for Australians in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and fill gaps in critical sectors.

New Rules

As a result, current labour market testing requirements(LMT) have been enhanced to ensure that Australian workers are prioritised for job opportunities in Australia.

Specifically, a new legislative instrument has been introduced and requires any future nominated positions to be advertised on the Government’s Jobactive website.

This measure is in addition to the requirement for at least two advertisements in one or more mediums outlined in the existing policy.

Businesses that are considering employing overseas skilled workers on a Subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled)) visa, Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa, or Subclass 494 (Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional)) visa will have to abide by these requirements.

Key Date and Exceptions

The enhanced LMT requirements apply to nominations lodged on or after 1 October 2020. 

The amendment will not affect nominations lodged prior to 1 October 2020 or nominations for a select occupation or a select position to which alternative evidence arrangements apply.

More Attention

There will be more attention given to employer nominations in relation to Australian workers in similar occupations when considering whether there is a genuine need for an overseas worker including:
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New! Travel Exemptions

New! Travel Exemptions

Due to COVID-19, currently only Australian citizens and permanent residents are permitted to enter Australia. However, immediate families of Australian citizens or permanent residents with a temporary visa and skilled individuals in certain critical sectors can apply for an exemption from the current restrictions to enter the country.

Exemption Request

From 2 September 2020, visa applicants or current visa holders who are working and/or sponsored in a Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) may be eligible to request an exemption to enter Australia. There is no need to hold a current visa to lodge the exemption request.

To apply for a travel exemption applicants need to provide certain mandatory information to the Department and complete and pay for a mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

Next Steps 

We can assist you with your application to the Department for a travel exemption if you are:

  • an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • a sponsored employee whose occupation is on the current PMSOL
  • Continue reading…

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What every employer MUST know for 1 July 2020

With the commencement of a new financial year, it brings with it important changes and new rates which will apply from 1 July 2020.

NEW! High Income Threshold (HIT)

With the HIT:

  • it increases to $153,600
  • it impacts:
  • who can make a claim for unfair dismissal (for those not covered by a Modern Award or to whom an enterprise agreement does not apply)
  • the maximum amount of compensation payable in an unfair dismissal claim
  • those on a ‘guarantee of annual earnings’ (a Modern Award does not apply to an employee whenever this guarantee is in place provided it continues to meet the relevant legislative requirements)

NEW! Modern Award Increases

With Modern Awards (including enterprise awards):

  • minimum wages increase by 1.75%
  • the date when this increase takes effect differs between the Modern Awards depending upon which group each falls into:
  • for Group 1 Modern Awards, the increase takes effect from the start of the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2020
  • Continue reading…

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Warning to all Directors – The First Industrial Manslaughter Conviction

In a first for Australia, Brisbane Auto Recycling Pty Ltd (BAR) was convicted of industrial manslaughter and fined $3million dollars after the employer and its two directors were found to have lied about how a worker died.

The Facts

In essence:

  • the worker was struck by a forklift in BAR’s Rocklea wrecking yard and died from his injuries
  • BAR had a system of issuing verbal safety instructions to workers
  • the operator of the forklift was unlicensed and unskilled, and this was unknown to the directors
  • the directors told paramedics and the worker’s daughter that the worker had sustained injuries in a fall, but the daughter obtained CCTV footage of the incident and contacted Police

What is Industrial Manslaughter?

In essence:

  • the offence of industrial manslaughter occurs when a business or person negligently causes the death of a worker
  • the offence exists in the ACT, Queensland and Victoria, whilst in New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania employers can be prosecuted for workplace fatalities under general workplace safety laws
  • Continue reading…

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Casual Problems – Workpac v Rossato: Implications for Businesses

On 20 May 2020, the Federal Court handed down its long-awaited decision in the matter of WorkPac Pty Ltd v Rossato. In doing so, the Court re-affirmed the conclusions reached in its 2018 decision of WorkPac Pty Ltd v Skene, and further undermined long-standing business assumptions relating to the engagement of casual employees using flat rates of pay.

The Facts

In essence:

  • Mr Rossato was employed by the labour hire company Workpac in the period between July 2014 and April 2018, pursuant to a series of consecutive employment contracts which characterised his employment as casual
  • throughout his employment, Mr Rossato was paid a flat rate of pay that was higher than the applicable casual rate contained within Workpac’s enterprise agreement, and his employment contracts did not expressly state that his flat rate of pay was inclusive of any casual loading
  • Mr Rossato was required to work regular and predicable shifts that were similar to those shifts worked by Workpac’s full-time employees, and several of his contracts involved rosters and shifts set several months in advance
  • Continue reading…

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New Laws to Stand Down Employees

New Stand Down Laws

From 9 April 2020 employers are able to utilise new stand down provisions arising from changes to the Fair Work Actin light of COVID-19. These changes are temporary and are currently stated to end on 28 September 2020.


Core Requirements

The new provisions enable employers to issue a “jobkeeper enabling stand down direction” to relevant employees where all of the following apply:

  • the direction was given after the commencement of the new stand down laws to not work on a day(s) on which the employee would usually work, or to work for a lesser period than the period which the employee would ordinarily work on a particular day(s), or to work a reduced number of hours (compared with the employee’s ordinary hours of work)
  • when the direction was given, the employer qualified for the jobkeeper scheme
  • the employee cannot be usefully employed for the employee’s normal days or hours during the stand down period because of changes to business attributable to the COVID‑19 pandemic or government initiatives to slow the transmission of COVID‑19
  • Continue reading…

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New Laws – Religious Discrimination Legislation on Track to be Introduced in 2020

The Federal Government is on track to introduce religious discrimination legislation in 2020, with a second exposure draft of its Religious Discrimination Bill introduced in parliament in late December 2019.

The Bill adopts the general objects, protections and prohibitions contained in similar Federal anti-discrimination laws such as the Age Discrimination Act, Disability Discrimination Act and Sex Discrimination Act, with some alterations to reflect the distinct nature of ‘religious belief or activity’ as a protected attribute.

Amongst other things, the Bill will (if passed):

  • protect and promote the right of religious freedom in Australian public and private sectors
  • make it generally unlawful to discriminate against a person on the basis of their religious belief or activity, or because they have or do not have a religious belief, or because they do or do not participate in a religious activity
  • introduce a Freedom of Religion Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission
  • contain specific provisions relating to discrimination in the context of employment including ‘carve-outs’ such as the right to discriminate against a person on the grounds of religious belief or activity in employment if they are unable to carry out the inherent requirements of that employment or in order to preserve the ‘religious ethos’ of the employer
  • Continue reading…