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Application to become a Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme approved employer

The Australian Government’s Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme connects workers with Australian businesses, while supporting the economic prosperity of 9 participating Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste.

Participating workers contribute positively to their host communities in Australia and create important people-to-people links between Australia and the Pacific. When workers spend time in Australia, they also gain valuable income and skills to take home, making a positive difference to the livelihoods of thousands of families in the region.

Through the PALM scheme, eligible Australian employers can access a pool of reliable staff from Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu to help them meet their workforce needs.

Australian employers will need to ensure they meet Australian Government criteria for participation in the PALM scheme. Completing this application form is the first step in this process. Applicants can use this form to apply for seasonal labour (up to 9 months) through the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP), and longer-term labour (up to 3 years) through the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS), subject to signing the relevant Deed of Agreement.

Relevant integrity checks of prospective employers are undertaken by the Department of Home Affairs and the Fair Work Ombudsman. Participating employers will also be required to become a temporary activities sponsor (TAS) through the Department of Home Affairs. TAS approval is needed before the Australian Government will execute a Deed of Agreement with a prospective employer.

Instructions

Please ensure all parts of the application form are completed. Please state all answers clearly and provide detailed information when lodging the application.

Short-term (seasonal) employment (up to 9 months)

When there is not enough local labour available, employers in the agriculture sector nationally and in the accommodation sector in rural and regional areas can recruit unskilled and low-skilled seasonal workers for up to 9 months through the SWP. This is in addition to Western Australia, Northern Territory, Tropical North Queensland and Kangaroo Island which was previously in place for the accommodation sector.

Once approved, an applicant is referred to as an approved employer under the SWP. SWP approved employers enter into an agreement with the Australian Government through the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) and a sponsorship arrangement with the Department of Home Affairs.

Organisations, including labour hire entities, contractors, growers, and trusts, can apply to become SWP approved employers in the agriculture industry and in select regions in the accommodation industry.

Contractors and labour hire entities must have been in operation for the previous 5 consecutive years to participate in the SWP. All SWP applicants must have a record of compliance with applicable Commonwealth, state and territory laws to be eligible.

New SWP approved employers are generally approved to recruit a specified number of seasonal workers for their first placement (known as a ‘recruitment cap’). This provides new SWP approved employers the opportunity to adjust to their obligations and responsibilities under the program.

SWP approved employers must have DESE’s written approval to participate in the program and recruit workers prior to seasonal workers commencing a placement. DESE will monitor SWP approved employers during each placement to ensure compliance with program requirements. The recruitment cap will be reviewed at the end of the placement and changes will be made where appropriate.

For further information on how to manage your short-term seasonal employment needs, please contact (SWPapplications@dese.gov.au) or call (+61 2 6240 5234).

Longer-term employment (one to 3 years)

When there are not enough local workers available, agricultural employers or rural and regional employers in all other sectors looking for a longer-term solution can express their interest in recruiting low-skilled and semi-skilled workers for between one and 3 years through the PLS.

Once approved, applicants are referred to as approved employers under the PLS. PLS approved employers enter into an agreement with the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and a sponsorship arrangement with the Department of Home Affairs.

Organisations, including labour hire entities, contractors, growers, and trusts, can apply to become PLS approved employers. Contractors and labour hire entities must have been in operation for the previous 5 consecutive years to participate in the PLS. All PLS applicants must have a record of compliance with applicable Commonwealth, state and territory laws to be eligible.

PLS approved employers must have written approval from DFAT or the Pacific Labour Facility (PLF) prior to longer-term workers commencing a placement. DFAT and the PLF will monitor PLS employers during each placement to ensure compliance with program requirements. The PLF is a project team within Palladium International Pty Ltd, a contractor to DFAT.

For further information on how to manage your longer-term employment needs, please phone (+61 7 3557 7750) or email (enquiries@pacificlabourfacility.com.au).