If your business is an approved Standard Business Sponsor you have certain sponsorship obligations.
What are an employers’ sponsorship obligations?
These obligations must be adhered to in order to retain and renew your standard business sponsorship.
Some examples of these sponsorship obligations are as follows:
- Notify the Department of Home Affairs if there are changes to your business
- Notify the Department of Home Affairs if your sponsored visa holder leaves employment or the nature of the employment changes
- Ensure that the sponsored visa holder works only in the nominated occupation
- Ensure equivalent terms and condition of employment are met
- Not engage in discriminatory practices
- Keep detailed records to demonstrate compliance with your sponsorship obligations
- Provide these records and information as requested
- Assume all the costs associated with becoming a sponsor
- Payment of reasonable travel costs of the sponsored visa holder and their family
- Pay costs to locate and remove unlawful non-citizens
- Cooperate with inspectors
Further, you must also let the Department of Home Affairs know if there have been any changes to the ways in which you meet your training obligations.
These obligations begin on the day that the Department of Home Affairs approves your standard business sponsorship or your work agreement begins. The obligations will cease 2 years after your sponsorship or work agreement ends and you no longer employ the sponsored visa holder.
For a more comprehensive outlook on the above sponsorship obligations you can visit the Department of Home Affairs website.
What are employers’ record keeping requirements when sponsoring an employee on an employer sponsored visa?
As an employer your business must keep records to demonstrate compliance with your sponsorship obligations. You should keep records of:
- Written requests for payment of travel costs for your employee and/or their family
- How and when you paid the travel costs, how much you paid, and where you paid the amount to. For example, receipts and invoices
- Any event that you were required to report to the Department, including the reporting date and communication method
- Tasks performed by your sponsored employee in relation to their nominated occupation and where the tasks were performed
- All earnings paid to the sponsored employee
- Non-monetary benefits provided to your sponsored employee. Your business should record the agreed value and the time at which, or the period over which, those benefits were provided
- If there is an equivalent worker to your sponsored employee in your workplace, the terms and conditions of this equivalent worker including:
- The period over which the terms and conditions apply
- The written employment contract you engage the sponsored employee under
- Details of how you are complying with the training obligations (if relevant) if you were lawfully operating a business in Australia when your standard business sponsorship was approved, or the terms of your approval were varied
- All records you need to keep as party to a work agreement, when applicable
The obligation to keep records starts the day your sponsorship is approved, or the sponsored employee starts working with you.
For more information regarding record keeping obligations you can visit the Department of Home Affairs website.
What are employers’ obligations if their employee changes roles or leaves the organisation?
One of your sponsorship obligations as an employer is to ensure that your sponsored employee works only in their nominated occupation. If you want the sponsored employee to work in a different occupation you will need to lodge a new nomination for that different occupation. If you are sponsoring your employee under the Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482), your employee will also need to submit a new visa application.
If your employee’s role change does not significantly alter the nature of their role, then notification to the Department and a new nomination/visa application may not be required. This is determined by closely considering the duties to be performed by the sponsored employee. It is recommended that you obtain migration advice before making any changes to the role.
If your sponsored employee is leaving your organisation you must notify the Department of Home Affairs within 28 days of the end of the employment. If the employer receives a request in writing, the business may also be required to pay the return travel costs of the sponsored employee and their family to leave Australia.