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Migration Amendment (Skilling Australians Fund) Charges Bill Passes Parliament!

On 8 May 2018, the legislation that will introduce changes to the "training contributions" that employers who sponsor visas for skilled workers - the "Migration Amendment (Skilling Australians Fund) Charges Bill 2017 - finally passed both houses of Parliament. 

The legislation will come into force on a day that it receives "royal assent" - presumably very soon!

The text of the legislation can be read by clicking here.

The Explanatory Memorandum is available by clicking here.

The key features of the new legislation are as follows:

1. Persons seeking to sponsor skilled workers will be liable to pay a "nomination training contribution charge" (under a new section 140ZM of the Migration Act being introduced by the legislation).

2. The leegislation authorises the making of regulations concerning the following matters:

* when the charge will be due and payable;

* the method of paying the charge;

* the remission or refund of the charge;

* overpayment or underpayment of the charge;

imposition of penalties for underpayment of the charge;

* the giving of information and keeping of records in relation to the liability of a person to pay the charge.

The legislation prescribes that the maximum penalty for underpayment of the charge will be 60 penalty units, which is currently $210 under the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth).

The amount of these charges has been foreshadowed by the government and it can be anticipated that these amounts will be formally imposed by the anticipated regulations.

They are that sponsors with a turnover of less than $10 million per year will be required to pay an annual levy of $1,200 for each year that a temporary skilled worker is employed, and a "one-off" levy of $3,000 for a permanent skilled visa.

Sponsors with a turnover greater than $10 million will be required to pay $1,800 for each year that a temporary skilled worker is employed, with the "one-off" fee for permanent visas being $5,000.

It is anticipated that the levy will be payable for all years of planned employment at the time that 

It is also understood that under the Turnbull Government's Budget that was announced on 8 May 2018, sponsoring employers will be able to apply for refunds  of the levy under the following circumstances:

1. The nomination of the worker has been approved but the visa is refused on health of character grounds;

2. The visa application is granted but the visa holder does not start work with the employer;

3. If the visa holder leaves the employment within the first 12 months, and the visa period is for more than 12 months, then the levy that is applicable to the unused full years of the visa will be refundable to the sponsor.

(We wish to thank our colleagues at Interstaff for alerting us to these features of the budget announcement relating to refunds).

We will of course provide an update when the regulations enacting the levy are introduced.

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  • Dot Wulff
    Dot Wulff Monday, 21 May 2018

    any news about when this will be implemented?

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