The Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme allows eligible Australian businesses to hire workers from 9 Pacific islands and Timor-Leste when there are not enough local workers available.

Through the PALM scheme, eligible businesses can recruit workers for short-term jobs for up to 9 months or long-term roles for between one and 4 years in unskilled, low-skilled and semi-skilled positions.

The PALM scheme helps to fill labour gaps in rural and regional Australia and nationally for agriculture and select agriculture-related food product manufacturing sectors by offering employers access to a pool of reliable, productive workers. It also allows Pacific and Timor-Leste workers to take up jobs in Australia, develop their skills and send income home.

 

Family accompaniment pilot – second selection process – coming soon

Long-term PALM scheme workers from Kiribati, Fiji, Timor-Leste, Tonga and Vanuatu will be eligible to apply for the second selection process of the family accompaniment pilot. To apply, workers will need the support of their employer.

The selection process will be run in 2 phases. The first phase will be an expression of interest (EOI) process for employers only. The EOI process will be available on the PALM scheme website from Monday 27 May to Friday 7 June 2024. The EOI form should take only 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

Any questions regarding the family accompaniment pilot or the EOI process can be sent to (PALMfamilies@dfat.gov.au).

Consolidation of the PALM scheme - revised deed and guidelines

The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR) has undertaken extensive stakeholder consultations to develop revised Approved Employer Deed of Agreement and Approved Employer Guidelines documents. This is the final step in consolidating the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) and the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) into the single PALM scheme.

Please visit DEWR’s PALM scheme deed and guidelines webpage for more information, or contact (PALMconsultations@dewr.gov.au) if you have any questions.

Want to join the PALM scheme as an employer?

If you are an Australian business needing additional workers you may be able to source them through the PALM scheme. You will need to check your eligibility and the requirements you will need to meet.

Australian businesses can access PALM scheme workers either by applying to become an approved employer or recruiting through an approved PALM scheme labour hire company.

Learn more about becoming an approved employer.

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Want to join the PALM scheme as a worker?

If you are a resident of one of the participating countries and want to apply to join the PALM scheme, you will need to check your eligibility and contact your country’s labour sending unit.

Learn more about signing up as a worker.

Supporting workers while they are living in Australia

The wellbeing of Pacific and Timor-Leste workers in Australia is of the highest priority for the Australian Government. All participating workers have the same rights and protections as Australian workers.

A range of measures is in place to protect workers, including stringent employer vetting, a rigorous monitoring and compliance framework, regular spot checks and a support service phone line. Workers are also encouraged and supported to connect to their local communities across Australia.

Learn more about PALM scheme employers' obligations to ensure workers are supported, or read the PALM scheme grievance management policy.