Newsflash: Man works on a 457 visa...

Perhaps not the most creative of titles for an article in a mainstream paper, but The Age aptly titled, 'Billabong chief works on 457 visa' confirms that someone does indeed work on a 457 visa...A link to the article can be found here although the title has since change from its page 5 publication yesterday.

Gladly, it does have some interesting content, mainly in relation to the Fair Work Ombudsman's report from monitoring businesses, and employee work conditions including employees who hold 457 visas.

To paraphrase, the article states that the report raises sponsor obligation concerns, the genuineness of some nominated positions, and the current direction the 457 program is expecting to take after an independent review was finalised a few months ago.

Unfortunately, the article may be a tad alarmist by exaggerating the issue with employees not working for their nominated employer. Although there are few occupations exempt to this part of the visa condition—condition 8107—most 457 visa holders must only work for their nominated employer (or a related business). Certainly, those nominated for one occupation then working in a lower skilled or different occupation is a serious breach of this condition and underpayment from the nominated salary is a breach of the sponsoring business’s obligations.

Given the above, the author fails to clarify that if a 457 visa holder ceases working for the business it is only after 90 days that Immigration will consider them in breach of condition 8107. Unless exempt, if the 457 visa holder has ceased working for the sponsoring business, they cannot work for another employer unless and until a new nomination has been approved by Immigration for that sponsoring business.

If there is no new nomination, Immigration will proceed to issue the 457 holder a Notice of Intent to Cancel their visa and give them an option to find another sponsor, apply for another visa or depart Australia before their 457 visa is eventually cancelled.

Lastly, it is also not a breach of sponsor obligation to pay a 457 visa holder more than the salary nominated. Promotions happen in the real world, and I’m hopeful Mr Fiske has earned the reported $18,000 difference.