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Workers

 

Anthon Wasang

 

The Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme allows eligible workers from 9 participating Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste to take up jobs in Australia.

The scheme provides workers with opportunities to gain valuable skills and experience while they are in Australia, and income to send back to their communities.

 

 

Strawberry picker

Who can apply to join the PALM scheme as a worker?

The labour sending unit (LSU) of each participating country will ensure only eligible candidates are put forward to PALM scheme employers for their consideration.

To be eligible, workers must meet the following criteria:

  • hold or obtain a valid passport for the duration of the contract or be able to obtain one
  • be physically fit and healthy for the work specified 
  • have no criminal record (workers who have lived in a foreign country for 12 months or more after the age of 16, or worked on a foreign ship for 12 months or more, require a police check from that country)
  • be of good character 
  • have the right qualifications and/or work experience required by employers 
  • demonstrate a positive attitude to work and a willingness to learn and commit to the employer’s values 
  • have an intention to return to their participating country
  • be over 21 years of age
  • have a reasonable standard of English (for longer-term workers only).

How to apply for the PALM scheme in your country

Citizens of Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste who want to participate in the PALM scheme should contact the relevant government LSU in their country.

Find contact details for each country’s LSU.

Workers’ rights and support in Australia

All Pacific and Timor-Leste workers participating in the PALM scheme are protected by the same workplace rights and laws as Australian workers.

There are provisions in place to ensure that workers have the same protections as Australian workers. There are a range of resources available to help workers adjust to life in their new communities.

Learn more about how workers are supported in Australia.

Living and working in Australia

Adjusting to life in another country can be difficult but support and resources are available to PALM scheme workers to help them settle into their new communities.

Workers can find advice and support on the PALM scheme Facebook page, or join in with social activities and sporting events in their local communities.

Find out how to get help if you need it

If you have questions about your work conditions, job and pay, you can ask your employer. You can also ask them about your accommodation, your local community and adjusting to life in Australia. If they don’t know the answer, they can tell you who to talk to.

For seasonal workers only, your employer must also invite unions to brief you when you first arrive. This requirement will cover all PALM scheme workers when the new PALM scheme deed and guidelines are introduced in mid-2022.

Country liaison officers (CLOs) and labour attachés are people appointed by Pacific and Timor-Leste governments to support workers in Australia. Not all countries have CLOs, but you can find all current CLO contact details on the website contact page.

Community Connections is a partnership between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Salvation Army that provides support to PALM scheme workers and creates better relationships and improved understanding between workers and their local communities.

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) should be contacted if you have questions about employment conditions, pay rates or entitlements. The FWO can also be contacted if you have concerns about your pay or employment conditions in Australia. The FWO information line is (13 13 94), or call (13 14 50) if you need an interpreter.

If you are a seasonal worker call the SWP information line on (+61 2 6240 5234), 9 am-5 pm (AEDT) Monday to Friday, or you can call the support service line below after hours for critical incidents. You can also send an email to (seasonalworker@dese.gov.au).

If you are a longer-term worker call the support service line on (1800 51 51 31), or email (support@pacificlabourfacility.com.au). Please note the support email inbox is only monitored during business hours, and calls to the support service line after hours should be for critical incidents only.