New Visas for Aged Care Workers

Aged care worker visa

On 5 May 2023, the Department of Home Affairs announced a new labour agreement for the aged care industry. This labour agreement permits foreign workers to be nominated for the Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage and 186 Employer Nominated Scheme visas in the following occupations: 

  • Nursing Support Worker (ANZSCO 423312)
  • Personal Care Assistant (ANZSCO 423313)
  • Aged or Disabled Carer (ANZSCO 423111)

This represents a substantial change in the Australian employer sponsored migration program, given the number of potential opportunities for sponsorship under these occupations. 

 

Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage Visa

To be nominated under one of the new occupations, applicants must meet the following criteria: 

  • English

Achieve IELTS 5.0 or equivalent, with a minimum component score of 5.0 in speaking and listening, and 4.5 for reading and writing, or, if sponsored by a “culturally and linguistically diverse” aged care provider, an overall score equivalent to IELTS 4.5 and proven fluency in a target community language. 

  • Qualifications and Experience

The equivalent to an occupation-relevant Certificate III qualification, or 12 months of relevant full time work experience or equivalent part-time experience. There is no requirement that work experience be post-qualification. If applying on the basis of work experience or an overseas qualification, a skills assessment must be obtained. 

  • Terms of Employment

Applicants must be engaged on a full-time basis and be offered guaranteed annual earnings of either $51,222 or the Australia market salary rate, whichever is greater. 

  • Labour Market Testing

Labour market testing is not required under this labour agreement.

 

Subclass 186 Employer Nominated Scheme Visa

The agreement permits applicants sponsored under the new occupations to apply for permanent residency. To qualify, the requirements are as follows: 

  • Age

Applicants must be below 45 years of age. There are no concessions to this requirement under this labour agreement.

  • English

Achieve an overall score equivalent to IELTS 5.5. There are no band score minimums.

  • Qualifications

Applicants must have a relevant qualification equivalent to an Australian Certificate III. Work experience cannot act as a substitute.

  • Australian Employment

Applicants must complete at least two (2) years of full-time work in Australia, or part time equivalent, in the relevant occupation. There is no requirement that this work experience be undertaken with any particular employer or whilst holding any particular visa.

  • Terms of Employment

Applicants must be engaged on a full-time basis and be offered guaranteed annual earnings of either $51,222 or the Australia market salary rate, whichever is greater.

  •  Labour Market Testing

Labour market testing is not required under this labour agreement.

 

For Employers

To sponsor workers pursuant to this labour agreement, aged care providers must first enter into a memorandum of understanding with one of three (3) proscribed unions: 

  • Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation 
  • Health Services Union 
  • United Workers Union 

More information regarding the terms of these memoranda of understanding are not yet apparent, however these may include union vetting of your business’s domestic recruitment processes to ensure that adequate attempts have been made to source Australian workers. This effectively represents an agreement between the relevant union and the subject organisation which must remain in effect for as long as you seek to maintain your labour agreement. 

Once a memorandum of understanding has been entered into, you may then apply for a labour agreement to be signed by the Australian Department of Home Affairs. This will permit the sponsoring of foreign workers pursuant to said labour agreement until such time as the agreement is terminated.  

A labour agreement may be terminated at the absolute discretion of the relevant Minister, including for reasons of change in government or government policy. Termination may also be initiated where an aged care provider no longer maintains an active memorandum of understanding with a relevant union. No compensation is recoverable for loss stemming from such termination.    

 

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