The Process of Hiring International Casual Workers in Australia
Hiring foreign nationals allows Australia’s employers to access skills that are not available locally. Combining such international skills with those of the natives has become an effective way of dealing with the skills gap challenge most organisations face. However, the process of hiring a foreigner is quite complicated as apart from recruiting talent from unfamiliar markets, your business will also have to navigate through challenges such as flexibility, time management and compliance. The process becomes more complicated if you are hiring casual workers in Australia.
In Australia, casual employment refers to temporary or short-term jobs that often involve working at irregular hours. Casual employment is not guaranteed to be ongoing. However, casuals have a right to a safe workplace among other rights. In addition, each industry has specific regulatory requirements with certain roles demanding special qualifications or licenses. These are often overlooked particularly if you are pressed for time.
This article takes you through a step-by-step process through which you can hire international casual workers without violating any Australian laws or infringing on your casual employees’ rights.
Who can hire from overseas in Australia?
The Australian laws require you to meet certain requirements in order to hire internationally. These include:-
- Your business must have been formed in Australia, is active and operating legally
- Your organisation must adhere to Australian workplace and immigration laws
- You must offer the employees the market salary rate for the position they are filling as well as meet the minimum amount set forth by immigration
- You are obligated to ensure that the employees have a legal right to work in Australia
When hiring foreigners to work for your organisation, you can decide to either hire skilled workers already living in Australia or those living overseas.
Hiring skilled casual workers already living in Australia
You could find the skills you need among:-
- Skilled migrants – this refers to people who relocate to Australia because the skills they possess have a high demand locally.
- Visitors or those on holiday visas – people who are visiting or who are on holiday in Australia have a chance of becoming casual or short-term employees in certain industries.
- International students – student visa holders can also work in Australia. However, students with a Subclass 500 visa can only work for 40 hours every fortnight when in session but can work full-time during the holidays. Students with a Subclass 485 visa have full-time working rights.
- Refugees – people who are in Australia as refugees or humanitarian grounds are allowed to live and work in the country on a permanent residence basis.
Hiring skilled workers living outside Australia
You can fill the skill gaps in your organisation by hiring people who are willing to come and work in Australia by getting into a labour agreement or sponsoring a casual worker or a temporary labourer. This requires the employee to have Temporary Work (Skilled) Subclass 457 visa which allows them to work for at least 4 years.
What are your obligations when hiring international casual workers?
Australian, New Zealand and permanent residents are allowed by the Australian laws to work anywhere in Australia. International employees require a visa that gives them working rights. As an employer, you are obligated to ensure that type of visa your potential employee has allows them to work. For an overseas person to qualify to work as a casual in Australia, they can hold a student visa (sub-classes 500) or a working holiday visa (subclass 417).
You are also obligated to provide the employee with the same working conditions as any Australian, New Zealand, or permanent resident undertaking the same role. Such conditions include health and safety training and remuneration. The salary you offer any international employee will come under close scrutiny from organisations such as the Migrant Workers’ Taskforce which was specifically formed to identify and mitigate migrant workers exploitation.
Any employee hiring internationally needs to get the employment contract right. For instance, you need to have a clause that states that the employment term is subject to the acquisition and maintenance of a visa that gives the employee the right to work in Australia. The employee should notify you as and when their working rights change.
How Induct for Work can help you hire international casual workers
Online induction through platforms such as Induct for Work is the most effective way of ensuring you have all your casual employees’ induction bases covered. Induct for Work enables you to capture pertinent employee information such as their personal information, licenses, bank details, visa information, and so on. You will be notified when documents such as licenses or visas are due for renewal or expiring.
There’s a higher chance of mistakes when you take on short-term workers that are not familiar with your business practices or culture. Besides, the law requires that you provide your casuals with a safe working environment. As your casuals will need to learn quite a lot in a short time, online induction is the most effective training tool. The platform allows you to customise the training to include exactly what you would want the casuals to learn and test their comprehension level through quizzes. As an employer, you have total control of the information you include on your casuals’ induction course. You can update or edit existing content at any time as and when the laws change.
Online induction enables you to stay compliant as data is recorded on the platform. This reduces the need to dig through large paper trails should your organisation be audited.
Inducting your overseas casuals online is an effective way of dealing with the challenge of geographical locations. This is particularly helpful if your Australian-based business has branches across the globe. Potential employees can undertake the training from any device, from anywhere and at their own pace.
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