Employers are now required to pay levies to the Skilling Australia Fund for business nominations lodged on or after 12 August 2018.
The Australian Government has implement the collection of a training levy from employer sponsors under the Skilling Australians Fund Act 2018 and the Migration Amendment (Skilling Australians Fund) Regulations 2018. The levies are intended to fund training and skills development programs for Australians.
The levy is payable at the time of lodging a nomination application for the 482 – Temporary Skills Shortage visa, 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme visa, and 187 – Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa.
The cost of training levy varies depending on the turnover of the business. Please see below an overview of costs:
|Business Sponsor Annual Turnover||Training levy per year on TSS visa||Upfront payment of training levy if applying for 4-year TSS visa||Upfront payment of training levy for permanent Subclass 186/187 nomination applications|
|$10 million or above||$1,800||$7,200||$5,000|
|Below $10 million||$1,200||$4,800||$3,000|
The training levy replaces the training benchmark requirements, meaning that business sponsors are not required to meet the training benchmarks from 12 August 2018 onwards.
The levy is payable by the business and cannot be passed on to the visa applicant.
Refunds of the training levy are available in specified circumstances which are intended to provide fairness to employers who do not obtain the benefit of a nominated overseas worker or where a nominated person is deemed unsuitable or is unavailable for work:
- The nomination application cannot be approved (specifically, a business is not approved as a sponsor, or an incorrect visa grant period being requested) and the nomination is withdrawn before refusal
- A nomination application is approved but the nominee’s visa is refused on health or character grounds
- The nominee does not commence work in the position for reasons beyond the control of the employer
- The nominee commences work but the employment ceases within 12 months, for example due to termination or resignation. Note that this only applies to TSS nominations, and a partial refund would be available on a pro rata basis.
Labour Market Testing Requirements
Changes to labour market testing requirements were also included in the Skilling Australians Fund Act 2018 and a further legislative instrument is expected to implement these changes.
The current requirement is that businesses will need to demonstrate that the position has been advertised for at least 28 days in the past 4 months.
Employers are encouraged to review their recruitment practices and advertise positions to be filled by foreign workers for at least four weeks. We will be happy to review any proposed job advertisement before it is published to ensure it meets LMT requirements for visa sponsorship.