A new rule requires sponsors submitting subclass 457 visa applications on or after April 19, 2016 or those awaiting approval as of that date to submit a declaration that they will not engage in recruitment practices that discriminate against potential employees on the grounds of immigration status or citizenship.
The addition of the new sponsorship obligation will allow the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to impose fines on sponsors that violate or do not comply with the new rule on or after April 19.
The new rule implements a recommendation from the independent review of the subclass 457 program held in 2014. This is in addition to the requirement for sponsors to submit an attestation they have a strong record of, or a demonstrated commitment to, employing local labour.
'Discriminatory recruitment practice' is defined in the new regulations as a recruitment practice that directly or indirectly discriminates against a person based on the immigration status or citizenship of the person, other than a practice engaged in to comply with a Commonwealth, State or Territory law.
What This Means for Employers
The new declaration requirement adds an administrative step and potential penalty for sponsors that breach the new sponsorship obligation.