'TSS 482 -Top 5 Questions Re Covid-19 And Work Rights…' by Pendragon
As the COVID-19 situation has evolved, many of us are now facing an uncertain future in relation to our employment, and being a Temporary Visa holder in Australia can add to this uncertainty. We at Pendragon have been inundated with questions from both the employers and visa holders.
We have listed below the top five questions we have been asked, along with the answers to help you through this uncertainty.
- Can the hours or salary for a primary Temporary Skill Worker (TSS) visa holder be reduced, or can they be offered a part-time role?
For most workers on TSS visas, their visa condition states they must remain in full-time employment and must continue to be paid at the level which was approved for the visa. The Department of Home Affairs has indicated there may be some flexibility around relaxing the rules with full-time employment, however no announcements have been made to date. We are checking for updates daily, and any advice provided from the Department will be circulated as a priority. So please keep visiting our social media pages or Pendragon website.
There is scope for a very limited number of applicants to be approved for part-time employment under the TSS visa, however a new application would need to be submitted and these applications are usually only reserved for a few selected occupations (e.g. Medical Doctors).
However, we presume shorter hours/days will be allowed soon as the Department of Home Affairs has already allowed unpaid leave (Read below)
- Can a TSS visa holder be placed on unpaid leave? If so, how long?
Given the unfortunate circumstances, businesses are able to place their TSS visa holders on unpaid leave for up to 3 months. Businesses are able to request for longer periods, however should seek permission from the Department of Home Affairs to their intentions to put them on unpaid leave. We can assist with this process.
No word yet that TSS Visa Holders will directly receive any payments from the government, however, once again as the government has suggested, if any company has a downturn of 30% in trade this will trigger a $1500 per fortnightly payment for all employees that are affected which means the TSS holder should receive the same funds as they are on the payroll.
- What happens when a TSS visa holder loses their job?
If you have lost your job, please contact our team to discuss your options. We may be able to come up with some alternative solutions based on your circumstances, such as transitioning you to a different visa type, or assisting you to transfer your sponsorship to another employer. Pendragon has an approved On-Hire Labour Agreement, and so we may be able to act as your surrogate employer as well.
As previously mentioned no word yet that TSS Visa Holders will directly receive any payments from the government however, we presume this may eventually change over the next few weeks…
- What happens if someone has an 8503 condition on their visa, however they are unable to leave the country?
The visa condition ‘8503 – No Further Stay’ prevents a visa holder from applying for another visa whilst in Australia to remain in the country. Home Affairs has advised that in the current circumstances they will be flexible with lifting the restrictions. The process requires an application for a waiver of the condition, and they are advising processing timeframes will take approximately 3 days, instead of their standard processing timeframes of 4 weeks. We have already assisted some clients with these applications and had successful outcomes, so please don’t hesitate to reach us if you would like assistance or free advice.
- Can a TSS visa holder with family overseas bring their family to join them in Australia?
At this stage, only Australian Citizens, Permanent Residents and selected New Zealand citizens are able to enter Australia. For this reason, even if the family members who are currently overseas are already attached to the primary TSS visa holder as dependents, they are currently unable to enter Australia, unless they have successfully applied for the waiver. The current travel restrictions will remain in place for the foreseeable future, so unfortunately the family members will not be able to come to Australia until that changes.
Alternatively, if you have any questions or want to know more about the above information please feel free to talk to us on 02 9407 8700 or reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to help…!