COVID19 and holders of TSS (SC 482) Visa
Australian employers have been hit hard by a slowdown in business activity in attempt to limit the spread of Covid-19. In order to survive, they have reduced the working hours of their employees, changed their regular rosters or ordinary hours of work, sent employees on unpaid leave or have temporary dismissed them.
These measures generally affect all employees however they really terrify the holders of Temporary Skill Shortage (SC 482) visas.
According to the legislation the holders of SC 482 visa must work with the sponsor who nominates them in a nominated position. If the employment has been terminated the SC 482 visa holders have 60 days to find a different sponsor to nominate them or they must leave Australia.
However, there are some provisions in the legislation that allow the employer and the visa holder to sort out an extraordinary situation they are facing now.
- If TSS visa holders in given circumstances will commence part-time work, this will not be considered to be a breach of their visa condition under current policy.
- Temporary (less than 60 days) change of occupation will also be acceptable.
- The legislation also allows the TSS visa holders to access Leave Without Pay (LWOP). This leave should generally not exceed three months but could be longer in exceptional circumstances – something we experience.
- Downturns in the industry, leading to the temporarily dismissal of a TSS visa holder could not be a reason for the cancelation of the visa if the Department of Immigration has been properly advised of the situation.
Following workplace procedures in documenting the reasons for changing the employment conditions will help employers and of TSS visa holders avoid breaching of sponsorship obligations and visa conditions and go through this difficult time with the minimal loss.
For questions about Australian visas and Immigration matters please contact a Registered Migration Agent Yana Asmalovskaya.