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COVID-19: June 2020 Edition – Information for Industries and Employers

Department of Home Affairs has released latest information to assist specific industries as well as employers hit by the ongoing pandemic.  As we continue to climb out of the lockdown, certain concessions are nonetheless required in order to ensure that the roadmap to recovery.

Agricultural sector:

Home Affairs and the Border force will apply flexible arrangements to allow critical workers, including Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme participants and Working Holiday Makers, to extend their stay in Australia:

  • Seasonal Worker Programme workers with visas due to expire will be able to apply for a Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa in the Australian Government Endorsed Event (AGEE) stream.
  • Pacific Labour Scheme workers with visas due to expire can apply for a new Temporary Work (International Relations) (subclass 403) Pacific Labour scheme stream visa.
  • Workers currently in Australia under these programs will also be exempt from the requirement to work for a single employer and will be able to move between approved employers.
  • In addition, Working Holiday Makers who are working in critical sectors (eg agriculture, aged or health care) will be exempt from the 6 month work limitation with one employer and eligible for a Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa in the Australian Government Endorsed Event (AGEE) stream.

Please note above are just some of the examples of what the Department of Home Affairs considers to be a “Critical Sector”.  Those industries that are suffering hardship may be eligible for concessions.

Aged Care and Nursing Homes

International students who work in aged care can also work more than 40 hours a fortnight, to make sure there are enough staff to look after the elderly who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

All aged care Approved Providers or Commonwealth funded aged care service providers that have been issued with a RACS ID or a NAPS ID have been given access to the temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holders. These aged care providers should see the letter provided to them by the Department of Health for further details.

These measures only apply to existing workers in their existing roles.

Airline Industry:

From 2100 AEDT 20 March 2020, airline staff should ensure that only exempt travellers board a flight to Australia. Where possible, the Australian Advanced Passenger Processing system will be used to deny uplift for all other travellers.

The Australian Government will honour all “okay to board” messages that airlines receive.

Airlines must contact the Australian Border Force Border Operations Centre prior to non-exempt travellers boarding the flight.

 

Airline crew (including medivac crew) are exempt from the travel restrictions. Airline crew are advised to take particular care on lay-overs, to use dedicated private transport and to avoid crowded public spaces.

Airline crew should monitor for symptoms and not fly if they are ill. This includes off-shift crew who are travelling as passengers on an aircraft to reposition at another location. The same process is to be followed for this cohort as on-shift crew.

Airline crew are required to self-isolate in their accommodation, if they enter Australia, until their next work flight.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Australia has surpassed 7000, however the rate of new infections has significantly declined with certain States reporting no new daily infections.

For further information, visit:

https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/

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