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Where the standard temporary or permanent visa options are not available for a business to sponsor a foreign national, the business may be in a position to secure a Labour Agreement. Labour Agreements are agreements between the Australian Government and employers, designed to fill gaps in the labour market where it can be demonstrated that business needs cannot be met by the local market.

An employer may consider a Labour Agreement in the following cases:

  • The position does not match an eligible occupation under the MLTSSL or STSOL or any other applicable list. This includes lower level skilled positions
  • Although the position does match an occupation on an existing list, a transition to a permanent visa in the future is preferred
  • The position is located in regional Australia
  • The business recruits labour for supply or onhire to unrelated businesses.

Labour Agreements are generally in effect for 5 years and allow business to sponsor, nominate and employ multiple workers in the approved occupations.

There are several types of Labour Agreements that may be available:

  • Industry Labour Agreements – These are agreements for industries able to demonstrate ongoing labour shortages impacting business across the field. These have fixed terms and conditions for all business relying on the agreement.
  • Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA) – These agreements are between the Federal Government and a regional, state or territory authority. The purpose of these agreements is to address labour requirements in regional areas. Please follow this link for more information on DAMAs
  • Project Agreements – These agreements are agreements specifically for project companies to address skills shortages during construction phase of infrastructure or resources projects.
  • Company Specific Labour Agreements – These agreements may be available where a role is not covered by any of the above Labour Agreements and the company is able to demonstrate a genuine need for a niche role.
  • Global Talent Employer Sponsored (GTES) Labour Agreements – These are agreements between a business and the Government to allow for the business to employ highly-skilled foreign nationals for niche positions that cannot be filled by the domestic labour market or through other visa programs.

A Labour Agreement imposes a number of obligations on the sponsor, with which they must comply. Some of the typical obligation may be found here, although the government usually requires sponsors under a Labour Agreement to assume additional responsibilities.

Securing a Labour Agreement is usually an involved exercise. We have experience assisting a number of organisations across various sectors to obtain Labour agreements. Our services include advice, presenting detailed evidence based submissions in support of the agreement, and negotiating the terms. To discuss how we can assist you with advice, as well as in preparing and negotiating a Labour Agreement, please click here to contact Visa Lawyers Australia