Temporary Work Visa Holders Have Working Rights in Australia

Temporary Visa Holders

Anyone who comes to work in Australia legally, whether on a sponsored or non-sponsored visa, has certain rights and protections in the workplace. These rights can’t be removed by any agreements or contracts. If you really believe that you have to accept any wage or conditions that you are offered when accepted for a job on a temporary work (skilled) visa (subclass 457) then you are wrong. You don’t have exactly the same the rights as Australian permanent residents, but Australian law determines work conditions and pay rates and your employer is bound by law to follow any obligations for you on a skilled temporary work visa.

Your Sponsor is Required to:

  • Give you the same employment terms and conditions as an Australian working in the same job and location;
  • Make sure you only work in the program, occupation or activity you have been nominated to do;
  • Refrain from recovering, transferring or charging any costs to you or anyone else for such things as recruiting costs, nomination/sponsorship fees or the costs of a migration agent;
  • Pay any reasonable and essential travel costs for you and your family to depart from Australia, if asked to do so in writing.

If you feel you are not treated correctly you shouldn’t hesitate to inform in writing the Immigration Department. If certain events occur like any change to your sponsor’s address or contact details, if your job has come to an end or if your job duties have altered you should ensure the Immigration Department is kept informed.

If You Believe You Have Not Been Treated Fairly By Your Sponsor

  • You should be prepared to co-operate with any inspectors from the  Department or the Fair Work Ombudsman if they have been assigned to investigate whether your sponsor has adhered to his or her sponsorship obligations.
  • You should keep records which show where your sponsor’s obligations have been breached such as pay slips, hours worked and a description of the duties you undertook.

The Department of Immigration takes any reported breaches of requirements set for sponsorship under the subclass 457 visa very seriously. It won’t hesitate to investigate allegations and take any action necessary to ensure the correct obligations are followed. This should not jeopardise your work situation in any way but it will give you the assurance that your pay and working conditions match any Australian or other overseas worker who is participating in the same job.

There are situations where employers can hire workers who are not fluent in English. This may provide the employer with the opportunity to misuse his or her obligations to these workers due to language barriers. If you are in this situation you may hire an interpreter or translator from Migration Translators to help you convey both a written and spoken message to the Immigration Department or your sponsor so that any obligations required on behalf of your sponsor to you as an employer can be assured.

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