During Covid, the Department of Immigration relaxed certain work conditions on several temporary visas. There have been some important updates released lately announcing the end of these relaxations and the timings of this.
Working Holiday – 6 Month Work Limitation:
Holders of Working Holiday visas (417 and 462) have a condition imposed which prevents them working for the same employer for more than 6 months. This condition was temporarily relaxed during Covid, and this relaxation will cease on 30 June 2023.
The Department of Immigration has confirmed that the 6-month limitation will reset on 1 July 2023.
What does this mean? It means that any employee’s period of employment resets from then, so they can continue until 31 December 2023. However, after this visa holders will need to ensure they remain compliant with the 6 month work limitation condition.
Employer’s must also ensure they are aware of these timings as any employer who hires a visa holder in breach of their visa conditions is considered to have hired an illegal foreign worker.
So, from 1 July 2023, employers will need to remain vigilant to the period any Working Holiday maker has been employed by them.
For official confirmation of the above please see: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/work-holiday-417/6-month-work-limitation
Student Visa – 40 Hour a Fortnight Work Limitation:
Another Covid measure was the relaxation of the 40 hours a fortnight work limitation for Student visa holders (subclass 500).
This measure was relaxed so that Student visa holders could work for more than this period in order to fill skill shortages that became prevalent through Covid.
This relaxation will also cease on 30 June 2023. However, rather than go straight back to 40 hours a fortnight, the number of hours that can be worked has been increased to 48 per fortnight.
This has been confirmed by the Department of Immigration here: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/student-500/temporary-relaxation-of-working-hours-for-student-visa-holders
As with the Working Holiday visas, any employer who has a Student visa holder who is in breach of their visa conditions is considered to have an illegal foreign worker and this situation can be subject to significant penalty.
If you have a Student or Working Holiday visa holder working full-time for you currently, it’s time to consider what to do once these work condition relaxations finish.
Feel free to get in touch if you would like to discuss next steps if you are in this situation.