When businesses are approved as sponsors under the 457 programme they have certain legal obligations that must be complied with, both during and beyond the term of sponsorship approval.
The main obligations are;
Cooperation with Inspectors
Employers must comply with workplace inspectors. Employers cannot;
- Prevent access to the workplace
- Conceal documents or the person
- Insult or intimidate inspectors
Equivalent Terms and Conditions of Employment
The terms and conditions of employment for the 457-visa holder cannot be less favourable than an Australian citizen or permanent resident employed in the same location and performing equivalent work.
Paying Travel Costs
If a formal request in writing is made by the primary applicant for the business to pay travel costs to depart Australia, the business must comply. It must be paid within 30 days of the request;
- Pay all reasonable costs i.e. a flight back to the person’s usual place of residence
- Pay for the primary applicant and any dependent family members on the same visa
- Economy class tickets
Sponsors are required to maintain and keep verifiable records on;
- Employment contracts
- Payments made to the applicant (wages)
- All documents related to meeting the training obligation
- Payment for any return travel costs
Business sponsors are required to meet the 457 training benchmarks, refer to http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/457-
These must be met every 12 months from the date of approval and only when a 457 visa holder is employed during or part of the same 12 month period.
Notifying the Department
Within 28 calendar days the Department must be notified when certain events occur, for example;
- Cessation of the primary applicant’s employment
- Any change in duties by the primary applicant
- Address or contact details of the business
- The business has a structural change
Costs of Recruitment and Sponsorship Approval
As of 14 December 2015, is became unlawful for any applicant to pay the employer to sponsor them for a visa.
A business cannot seek to or take any action that results in transferring or charging costs (including migration agent fees) in relation to;
- Obtaining sponsorship
- The recruitment of the primary applicant
- The nomination process
Most of the obligations start the day the sponsorship is approved or when the 457-visa holder is granted the visa. A common miss-conception is that the obligations end when the 457 visa holder stops working for the employer, this is not the case and in some circumstances the obligations can extend years after a 457 visa holder departs Australia.
457 Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/457-