Changes to Labour Testing in 2024


Changes to Labour Testing in 2024

In a move hailed as a significant improvement for both employers and skilled visa applicants, the Australian Government has introduced changes to the Labour Market Testing (LMT) requirements for Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) and 494 (Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional) Visas.

Effective from 11 December 2023, these amendments are designed to streamline the visa sponsorship process, reducing the administrative burden and facilitating easier access to global talent amidst widespread skills shortages.

Key Changes to LMT Requirements

Previously, employers were mandated to advertise a position on Workforce Australia, the Government’s employment service, alongside two other job platforms before sponsoring a worker under these visa subclasses.

However, the recent policy adjustment has eliminated this requirement, now necessitating advertisements on only two valid job platforms.

Consequently, at the time of lodging the nomination, evidence of just two advertisements is required, a reduction from the previous three.

This rule applies to nominations currently on hand as well as those submitted post the effective change date.

This simplification means employers no longer need to manage  advertisements across three separate platforms, significantly cutting down on the administrative effort needed to sponsor a worker.

Specifically, for businesses in Category 2 locations engaging Subclass 482 and 494 Visa holders under the Labour Agreement stream, the relaxation from advertising on Workforce Australia and the allowance to conduct only two valid advertisements are particularly beneficial.

These LMT activities for Category 2 locations must be carried out up to 12 months before the nomination lodgement, adhering to other LMT prerequisites.

Ongoing LMT Requirements

Despite these relaxations, the core essence of Labour Market Testing remains intact.

Employers must still adhere to the following LMT requirements, unless exemptions apply or alternative arrangements are in place due to International Trade Obligations:

  • Advertisement of positions must be carried out at least 4 weeks within the four months immediately preceding the nomination application.
  • Ads must be circulated within Australia, in English, and contain detailed information such as the job title, required skills or experience, sponsor’s or recruitment agency’s name, and the offered salary details.
  • At least two advertisements must be published on approved job platforms, ensuring widespread visibility and compliance.
  • The advertisements should run for a minimum of four weeks, during which applications or expressions of interest for the advertised position are to be accepted.

Given the specific nature of these requirements, employers are advised to seek professional guidance from Registered Migration Agents to ensure full compliance.

Future Outlook on LMT and Visa Policies

The Government’s recent adjustments reflect a responsive approach to business community feedback, acknowledging that excessive administrative requirements can impede the attraction of global talent.

With the upcoming replacement of the Subclass 482 Visa by a new Skills in Demand Visa featuring three targeted pathways and potentially exempting top-tier workers from LMT, the future seems promising for both employers and skilled professionals.

This prospective visa, catering specifically to individuals earning at least $135,000 per annum, signifies a strategic pivot towards meeting Australia’s skill needs more efficiently.

The reduction in LMT requirements heralds a more flexible and accessible visa sponsorship framework, allowing Australian businesses to navigate the global talent pool more effectively.

As the landscape evolves, it remains crucial for employers and visa applicants to stay abreast of changes and seek expert advice to navigate the complexities of immigration policies successfully.

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