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Employment Law – s 457 Visa Entitlements

Employment Law – Background

The Australian Government announced the abolition of the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457 visa) in April 2017. They will be replaced with the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa in March 2018. Consequently, employment law questions have arisen regarding the entitlements afforded to such workers in this transition period.

Common questions include:

  • Could the employee successfully claim unfair dismissal?
  • Is an employee on a 457 visa entitled to redundancy pay if there is no further work when the visa expires?

Employment Law – The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)

s386(2) provides that an employee is excluded from claiming unfair dismissal if:

  • the employee is employed on a contract;
  • for an unambiguous specified period of time; and
  • whose employment is terminated at the end of that specified period

Employment Law – Case Decision

A decision of the Full Bench of the (then) Australian Industrial Relations Commission held that a s457 visa can be used to specify the fixed time period of an employment contract. This is provided that the parties have a sufficiently proven understanding of the terms of the visa and the contract of employment. This understanding must therefore include the period of employment and most notably, the end date.
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