Friday, 5th of September 2014 Issue #1 September
No Borders Newsletter

TOP STORY

overseas migration to australia to increase

Issues of this month

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Overseas migration to Australia set to increase by 4.5%

Net overseas migration to Australia is forecast to reach 246,300 by the end of September, a rise of 4.5%, and will continue to increase until 2016.

The forecast from the Department of Immigration and Border Control (DIBP) suggests numbers will then decline to 235,800 a year by the end of June 2018.

The report takes into account policies announced in recent months, including the extension of streamlined student visa processing to low-immigration-risk providers registered to deliver advanced diploma courses.

The forecasts also take into account visa grants data and official Australian and World economic growth forecasts, combined with the assumption of no policy changes into the future.

The forecast for total arrivals is 511,500, an increase of 1.5% since December 2013. When this is broken down, the estimate for temporary visas for students are estimated at 119,000, 457 workers at 44,300, working holiday makers at 63,000, visitors at 47,400 and other temporary visas at 7,400, respectively.

The forecasts for the permanent entrant categories are given as 39,500 for skilled workers, 35,200 for family visas, 14,500 for humanitarian visas and other permanent visas at 4,800.

The forecast of total departures is 265,100 by the end of September, a fall of 1.1% compared with December 2013. The breakdown indicates 38,400 student visa holders will leave, along with 36,100 temporary 457 workers, 26,000 working holiday makers, 17,500 visitors and 19,800 other temporary visa holders.

It is also estimated that 7,600 permanent visa holders will leave, as well as 5,000 family visa holders, 100 humanitarian visa holders and 4,800 other permanent visa holders.

The report points out that student visa grants have been increasing rapidly, as the demand for student visas has increased. ‘This is likely the result of the department’s visa streamlining measures and the introduction of new post study work arrangements,’ it explains.

It also says that as economic growth in Australia is expected to be relatively slow, and unemployment relatively high, temporary 457 skilled work visas are expected to decrease to 43,000 by 2018 whilst working holiday maker arrivals are expected to remain fairly steady at 63,200.

Visitor and all other temporary visas arrivals are expected to remain fairly steady at 48,000 and 7,400 respectively. Skill and Family arrivals are also expected to remain fairly steady at 39,800 and 34,800 respectively.

The unemployment rate in New Zealand has been falling since 2012 and is forecast to continue to fall. As a result, New Zealand citizen arrivals are expected to continue to decrease to 44,900.

The report also explains that since new post-study work arrangements were introduced in March 2013 higher education students who applied for, and were granted, their first student visa on or after 05 November 2011 became eligible for a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) (Post-Study Work Stream) upon graduation.

Take up of this visa is expected to be high from March 2015, and as a result, student departures are expected to decrease markedly until June 2015. Student departures are then expected to increase, offsetting the earlier increase in student arrivals, reaching 45,000.

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Employers in Northern Australia to get concessions on overseas workers

employers to get concessions on overseas workers

Skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers looking for work in North and West Australia could find it easier to be sponsored for a 457 visa under new arrangements to combat serious job shortages.

The federal government is set to make it easier for employers across Northern Australia to import guest workers as local people leave their jobs to work on the massive $34 billion Ichthys gas project, leaving shortages in many areas including retail managers, bus drivers, restaurant supervisors, plant operators and chefs.

The Northern Territory is set to be approved under the first so-called ‘designated area migration agreement’ followed by Western Australia’s Pilbara. The agreements are designed to free up businesses outside the resources industry to hire semi-skilled workers without having to meet the strict language, salary and training requirement of other migration programmes.

A spokesman for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) said the Northern Territory agreement would be in place shortly and the Pilbara deal should be in place by the end of the year.

Draft guidelines propose that state governments, local councils and chambers of commerce will be able to sponsor the agreements, nominating the employers who can participate and seek concessions on English-language requirements, skills benchmarks and minimum salaries.

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Australia and US to share immigration information

australia usa share information


Australia and the United States have signed an agreement that establishes a framework for information sharing between the two countries on immigration.

This is in the context of the enforcement and administration of the countries’ respective immigration laws and visa arrangements.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said that once specific information sharing arrangements have been developed and implemented, they will better protect the safety and security of citizens of the United States and Australia and facilitate legitimate travel and business.

He explained that the agreement would enable the exchange of appropriate immigration information in accordance with the countries’ respective privacy and legislative provisions, increasing volumes and response times and facilitating timely immigration-related decisions.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said that the information sharing will help to protect Australian and American citizens at a time of emerging global threats. ‘Greater cooperation through the exchange of information will strengthen our ability to tackle cross border issues,’ she added.

‘The government of the United States of America and the government of Australia have signed an agreement for the sharing of visa and immigration information, bolstering the capacity of each country to confirm identities of foreign nationals,’ Bishop continued.

‘Australia values highly the information exchanges with the United States and our international partners and recognises the potential of this agreement to better protect citizens of both countries,’ she concluded.

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Foreseen and Unforeseen Risk: That is the Question

That employers can attract significant liability if they fail to ensure that their employees are safe from risk or harm in the workplace is a principle of common knowledge. Certainly most business owners would be intimately familiar with the concept and so may be surprised to learn that the legal position on the issue is not so black and white.

Recent case law shows that courts are reluctant to impose liability in circumstances where employees have exposed themselves to unforeseeable risk.

The decision in Perry v Exactmix held that an employer had not breached their duty to, 'as far as reasonably practicable take steps to prevent foreseeable risk of harm. The case turned on evidence presented which showed that the employer 'at no time endorsed, encouraged, promoted or even suggested' the conduct which resulted in the injury and so could not have been aware that it presented a foreseeable risk or that reasonably practicable steps needed to be taken.

The phrase 'reasonably practicable' typically refers to an objective test used by the courts to establish what steps a 'reasonable person' in the employer's shoes would have taken to ensure their employees were safe from any foreseeable risk or harm which could arise during the course of their work.

A prudent employer would not only ensure that all physical measures to increase safety in the workplace are taken, but also that regular and relevant safety protocols and training sessions are implemented to assess and manage any relevant health risks which may arise, both foreseen and unforeseen.

Employers should take great care in ensuring they lessen their liability by taking some practical steps such as:

  • Preparing appropriate policies and procedures;
  • Provide regular training; and
  • Ensure employee files are kept up to date including any evidence of injuries that occurred in the workplace.

For a limited time, NB Lawyers are offering a FREE 20 minute legal consultation to all Employers.

For further information please contact Jonathan Mamaril, Special Counsel on 07 3876 5111 or email jonathanm@nb-lawyers.com.au.

Written by

Jonathan Mamaril
Special Counsel
NB Lawyers
07 3876 5111
jonathanm@nb-lawyers.com.au

Website:www.lawyersforemployers.com.au

Foreseen risk
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Fewer business in Australia likely to go down 457 visa route

A number of recent and important changes to the popular 457 visa programme in Australia means that there may be fewer business wishing to sponsor this visa class.

Before July 2013, there was no limit on the number of employees a Standard Business Sponsor could sponsor on 457 visas, but now, they need to nominate the number of workers they want to sponsor on 457 visas (and justify that number) as part of the sponsorship approval process.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) will approve a specific number of potential 457 visas. Once the cap is reached, the employer has to apply to vary the terms of its sponsorship to be able to sponsor additional employees from overseas.

No Borders Newsletter

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