New Aged Care Labour Agreement for Residential or Home Care Aged Care providers in Australia
In order to care for and support the elderly in our communities, the aged care sector is essential. The Department of Home Affairs introduced the new Aged Care Labour Agreement in early 2023 to increase the workforce in this sector and ensure equitable working conditions and job opportunities for aged care workers.
This new Aged Care Labour Agreement allows residential or home care aged care providers to:
Nominate overseas workers under the Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) Visa in nominated occupations that are not currently available under the standard program, such as:
In accordance with the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) programme, an Australian business can sponsor foreign workers for permanent residence. Employees must have at least two years of relevant direct care job experience working full-time in Australia. The two years of employment are not connected to a specific employer or visa category.
The aged care provider must sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), depending on the service being offered and the location, with one or more of the following unions in order to qualify as a sponsor for this labour agreement:
- Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation
- Health Services Unios
- United Workers Union
Aged Care Labour Agreement – What is a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)?
The MoU serves as a substitute for the conventional methods of Labour Market Testing (LMT) for the new Aged Care Labour Agreement by showing that the provider has provided additional hours to all current employees and minimised barriers to attraction and retention by offering predictable rosters with set hours, decent wages, and favourable working conditions.
Aged Care Labour Agreement – What is involved in establishing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)?
Initial Contact – If aged care providers are interested in creating an MoU, they should first get in touch with the union to discuss their objectives (or nominate the immigration representative).
Meeting with the Union – A meeting with the provider will be scheduled after the union confirms the provider’s eligibility and that it falls within the union’s coverage. This meeting is meant to ensure mutual understanding and compliance with the MoU.
Discussion with current employees – This step is required to ensure that the current employees work their allocated hours and determine if the provider is making sufficient efforts to recruit from the local labour market. The supplier must exhibit the work deficiencies effectively.
MoU Preparation and Approval – The MoU is a document settled upon by all parties included. When the MoU is executed, the aged care provider can start preparing the Aged Care Labour Agreement and initiate negotiations with the immigration department (DHA).
The negotiation process can take up to six weeks.
As soon as the labour agreement is approved, the business can start nominating/sponsoring skilled overseas workers for an approved position within the business. The visa will be approved for maximum 4 years.
It is inevitable that some industries with lower awarded salaries, like the aged care industry, will need to use industry labour agreements as a pathway to bring in more workers to maintain the regular operations of their business or grow the business with increase of the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) to AUD 70,000 from 1 July 2023.
It is important to note that ONLY residential or home care aged care providers are covered by the Aged Care Labour Agreement. The scope of this industry labour agreement does not include on-hire/labour hire agencies or providers of care or support for people with disabilities.
However, other immigration solutions may be available, such as DAMA – Designated Area Migration Agreements, Company-specific Labour Agreements or On-Hire Industry Labour Agreements, if your organisation operates in the disability care or on-hire agency sectors.
VISA LOUNGE AUSTRALIA can answer your questions about Australia’s immigration programs
Contact our team of experts in Australian immigration by phone +61 7 3040 8444 or website inquiry form. We’ll get back to you within 24 hours with the best immigration pathway to bring skilled aged care workers to Australia.