Are small businesses being discriminated against in favour of ‘real’ positions of big cats?
The 457 visa programme is forever scrutinised, but now the attention is turning to Immigrations subjective, prejudice handling of applications.
The 457 is intended to support Australian business, by employing on a temporary basis, overseas employees when they are unable to find suitably skilled Australians. People on 457 have to be skilled, with a position listed on the CSOL or SOL listed – Consolidated Skilled, or Skilled Occupation list (devised by the government to identify where the shortages are and who Australia needs). Now it seems processing officers are going against that exact policy by using their discretionary power to scrutinise small businesses, claiming the positions nominated are not genuine or not needed.
Under the 457, any business nominating a skilled overseas worker has to paid them a minimum of $53,900, as well as contributing at least 1% of their overall payroll towards the training and development of Australians (Citizen’s and Permanent Residents). This is, in some ways an incentive to focus on the up and coming Australian labour force, while paying at such a level that the position has to be skilled, and needed for the business.
So, in logical terms – if a small business is willing to pay an overseas employee over $1000 per week, as well as contribute a percentage of all wages to future development, they are doing this for a reason. They are doing this because they can’t find a person who is able or willing to fill the position (often who could be paid less), so the overseas employees is their best solution, for business needs.
Small businesses, it seems, are being targeted by visa processing officers, who place extra scrutiny and investigations into their operations and have questions about the ‘need for the position’, that than of a big, long established business.
However, again, logic would dictate that to discriminate against the smaller businesses is essentially limiting their abilities to grow, expand and ultimately become big, established Australian companies.