Commentary
CO-WRITTEN / PARTNER | Staff Reporter, Australia
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What you need to know about the 457 Visa Fast food industry labour agreement cessation

Contributor ER Strategies has provided the following information.

Many Franchise businesses would have seen press reports regarding the end of the s.457 Fast food industry labour agreement.

Impact of Decision

The termination of the above agreement (this is a special immigration agreement and is unrelated to our enterprise agreement covering general employment conditions and wages) is only expected to have a relatively minor impact on franchise businesses. Whilst more than 500 skilled worker visas have been approved for fast-food outlets over the past four years, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection advised that nearly 300 worked at McDonald's, almost 100 at KFC and more than 70 at Hungry Jacks, across more than 300 individual stores.

Businesses which do not employ and sponsor s.457 visa holders under the above labour agreement, it will have no present impact on your business. Note that fast-food businesses can still apply through the regular 457 process.

Which Employees were eligible to be employed under the scheme?

The fast food industry labour agreement was the pathway which allowed businesses to recruit temporary skilled overseas workers in the occupations of retail manager or retail supervisor where it could be demonstrated that there is no appropriately qualified Australian worker readily available.

Note the agreement only applied to employees in the occupations of Retail Manager or Retail Supervisor.

Retail managers must have had one of the following to be eligible:

  • a relevant qualification assessed by an Australian Registered Training Organisation (RTO) as equivalent to an AQF Diploma, or higher qualification, and at least three years relevant experience
  • at least five years relevant experience in a fast food environment.

Retail supervisors must have had one of the following:

  • a relevant qualification assessed by a RTO as equivalent to an AQF Certificate IV or higher qualification, and at least three years relevant experience
  • at least four years relevant experience in a fast food environment.

The minimum base rate of pay of employees under the scheme had to be at least the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (prior to 1/7/16 this figure was $53,900; we have not been able to locate an increase to this figure since that date), and Retail Managers had to be paid at least 10% more than a Retail Supervisor.

There are also English language requirements under the scheme (click here for details).

What will happen to employees we currently employ who are under the scheme?

Existing foreign workers working under such a labour agreement will be required to leave Australia once their agreements run out unless their employer is able to present an individual case as to why they should remain in the country. However, conversely they will not be required to leave if their agreement is current.

Further Queries

If you have further queries or concerns, please call ER Strategies on 1300 55 66 37 or alternatively, contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by QSR Media. The author was not remunerated for this article.

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