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Family Assistance (Pacific Australia Labour Mobility Scheme-Child Care Subsidy) Determination 2024

The Family Assistance (Pacific Australia Labour Mobility Scheme—Child Care Subsidy) Determination 2024, issued by the Minister for Education under the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999, establishes a framework to support Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme participants and their families. This scheme allows eligible employers to hire workers from select Pacific countries and Timor-Leste for various roles in Australia, aiming to foster skill development, address youth unemployment, and enhance regional economic integration.

As part of the 2022-23 Budget measure "Enhancing the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility Scheme," primary visa holders on long-term placements (one to four years) can bring their partners and children to Australia, supported by their employer. This initiative begins with a pilot program designed to assess its implementation based on specific criteria.

The Determination amends the Family Assistance Act to permit PALM scheme workers and their families approved for family accompaniment to access family tax benefits and child care subsidies (CCS). This move aims to alleviate financial burdens and reduce workforce participation barriers, ensuring that family reunification in Australia does not jeopardise the success of the PALM scheme participants' placements.

Eligibility for CCS is contingent upon satisfying specific criteria, including residency requirements under the Family Assistance Act, for both the worker and their family members. The Determination specifies that PALM scheme workers approved for family accompaniment and their family members are eligible for CCS, subject to all other applicable conditions.

The introduction of this policy was the result of consultations with various departments, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Home Affairs, and the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, among others. All consulted agencies supported the Determination.

Furthermore, the Determination is deemed compatible with human rights, engaging with rights to social security, an adequate standard of living, the rights of parents and children, the right to privacy, and rights to equality and non-discrimination. It ensures that limitations on these rights are reasonable, necessary, and proportionate, aiming to support the well-being of PALM scheme workers and their families in Australia.

The Determination underscores Australia's commitment to its Pacific neighbours, facilitating not only the economic but also the social integration of PALM scheme participants and their families into Australian society.

Source: Family-Assistance-PALM-Child-Care-Subsidy-Determination-2024.pdf and Family-Assistance-PALM-Child-Care-Subsidy-Determination-2024-Explanatory-Statement.pdf

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