As part of the push to make it harder to get a work visa (subclass 457) , it is likely they will increase the minimum wage that must be paid to a foreign worker on a 457. This has been happening for over a decade, and the minimum wage is almost double what it was then years ago!
Why is the Minimum Wage For Work Visas Rising?
The logic is that the 457 work visa is intended to be a way to find skilled labour where that skill is in shot supply in Australia. It is not intended to be a way to find cheap about overseas, and the government is under heavy Union pressure to ensure these 457 foreign workers do not take jobs that would otherwise be filled by Australians.
A review of the Temporary Work (subclass 457) visa is scheduled for April this year, which will include a review of the income threshold that employing sponsors are obliged to pay their 457 visa-holding workers. Some hope that the amount currently set as the minimum wage for a 457 worker will be indexed and increased – which seems likely, since the income threshold associated with 457 visas has increased, on average, around 4% per year since 2011/12. If this trend follows, the income threshold could increase from the current level of $53,900 to just over $56,000. However, the income threshold did not rise in the 2014/15 review – whether this means the threshold will not rise again, or whether a greater increase in proportion to previous years is imminent, only time will tell.
The income threshold is designed to ensure that foreign workers are being paid at the average rate of a skilled Australian worker, rather than allow graduate entry or lower-skilled workers to enter the market and fill a position that a higher paid Australian worker could fill. This, combined with the requirement for labour market testing, means that a skilled foreign worker will only be able to receive a 457 visa if no Australian can be found to fill the job. While many welcome the news of higher pay for 457 workers, pointing out that it will ensure only highly skilled workers can enter the Australian market, some businesses will no doubt react with dismay, as pinched coffers must stretch even further to pay foreign workers even in the event they genuinely cannot find an Australian to work for them.
For all the current information on the 457 review and what it means for employers, visa applicants and the wider Australian community, stay tuned to our Newsfeed! If you require assistance preparing your 457 visa application, or you wish to sponsor a foreign worker to come to Australia, our experienced immigration lawyers can assist you with a professionalism and talent honed over many years of successfully assisting 457 visa applicants. Contact us today!