In May 2023, the Albanese Government announced the introduction of an Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement. Broadly speaking, Labour Agreements enable approved businesses to sponsor skilled overseas workers when there is a demonstrated need that cannot be met in the Australian labour market, and where standard temporary or permanent visa programs are not available. A useful blog post about Labour Agreements generally is set out here.
What is an Industry Labour Agreement?
There are several types of Labour Agreements for Australian immigration purposes, and these are considered in more detail in this blog post. Specifically, the Industry Labour Agreement is a pre-negotiated agreement that provides fixed terms and conditions for particular industries. They provide a set of unique terms, conditions, and concessions for certain occupations that will apply to all future labour agreements in that industry sector, meaning that individual employers do not need to go through the onerous negotiation process for individual Company Labour Agreements.
What is the Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement?
The new Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement streamlines the recruitment of qualified direct care workers from overseas to work in the aged care sector. A copy of the template Labour Agreement setting out the concessions is here. It allows aged care employers to address workforce shortages in aged care by recruiting foreign workers for a period of up to 4 years through the Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) (TSS) visa or permanently through the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) (ENS) visa.
Which occupations can be sponsored?
The new Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement can sponsor overseas workers in the following direct care occupations:
What are the concessions for a TSS visa application under the Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement?
A template of the Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement is set out here, but a summary of the concessions for TSS visa applications is extracted below:
- If the applicant obtained qualification in Australia, a relevant Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Certificate III or equivalent or higher qualification or 12 months of relevant full time work experience (or equivalent part time experience).
- If the overseas worker obtained their qualification overseas or is claiming work experience instead of a relevant qualification, they will need a positive skills assessment from either the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (for Nursing Support Worker ANZSCO 423312 or Personal Care Assistant ANZSCO 423313) or the Australian Community Workers Association (for Aged or Disabled Carer ANZSCO 423111).
- for overseas workers employed by standard aged care providers: IELTS 5.0 (or equivalent) with minimum component scores of 5.0 for speaking and listening and 4.5 for reading and writing.
- for overseas workers employed by culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) aged care providers: IELTS 4.5 (or equivalent) with no component minimum, provided the overseas worker is fluent in the target community language.
Note that there is no upper age limit for this visa (as per the standard TSS visa application).
What are the concessions for an ENS visa application under the Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement?
A template of the Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement is set out here, but a summary of the concessions is extracted below:
Note that there are no concessions for the age limit, with the standard ENS requirements remaining (must be less than 45 years of age).
How can you apply for the Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement?
To access the Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement, aged care providers must first enter into an MoU with the relevant unions(s):
Once the MoU is established, aged care providers can submit the labour agreement request to the Department of Home Affairs through their Immi Account.
Hannan Tew has assisted various businesses to negotiate labour agreements, including industry specific, company specific and GTES. We specialise in assisting sponsors hire foreign workers in various sectors including construction, infrastructure, aged care, healthcare, meat, and technology. If your talent needs are not being met by “standard” visa programs, feel free to contact our experienced team by email at [email protected] or by phone at +61 3 9016 0484.