Part-time Work on a 482 Visa
Is part-time work on a 482 visa allowed? A recent addition to the 482 nomination criteria sparked interest that part-time work may be allowed for 482 visa holders. When submitting a 482 nomination, most occupations must provide full-time work.
Full-time is considered to be:
- 38 hours per week; or
- a period between 32 and 45 hours that is specified under:
- an industry award or agreement; and
- is consistent with the National Employment Standards (NES).
A limited number of occupations including Medical Practitioners, Senior Specialised Managers, Non Executive Directors and University Academics may be approved with part-time work arrangements. All other occupations must provide full-time employment.
The regulations state that the position must be full-time, however the Minister may disregard the criterion if the Minister is satisfied that it is reasonable in the circumstances to do so.
So what would be considered reasonable to disregard the requirement for the position to be full-time?
The provision is primarily intended to facilitate part-time work arrangements for highly skilled overseas workers in niche occupations that would be of benefit to Australia. However, it also provides flexibility for short term, part-time, work arrangements when it is in the visa applicant’s best interest.
Situations where part-time work arrangements would not be approved and would be considered a breach of sponsorship obligations:
- Reduction of hours due to a decline in business
- change in business structure or
- the personal preference by the visa holder
Approved situations for part-time work on 482 visa may include:
- fractional appointments of overseas academics to Australian universities
- medical practitioners – for example, locum doctors or medical practitioners working as independent medical practitioners
- non-executive directors and senior specialised managers – that is, highly paid board members appointed by Australian-listed companies who are required to regularly attend board meetings in Australia for short periods.
Approved temporary part-time work on a 482 visa may include:
existing 482 visa holders who are temporarily reducing their hours and are returning to work part-time following a period of:
- maternity leave and are graduating back to full-time hours
- sick leave or a work based injury
- significant personal reasons (of the visa holder)
Visa holders are not considered to have ceased work if they commence part-time work on a 482 visa. The visa holder would not be considered to be in breach of their visa conditions, on this basis alone. However, Sponsors must ensure that they are able to continue to meet their sponsorship obligations when arranging part-time work on a 482 visa .
If a 482 visa applicant’s hours were reduced to part-time, sponsorship obligations may not be met as the decrease in the person’s earnings (or terms and conditions of employment) may result in:
- less favourable terms and conditions
- earnings less than the nominated salary
The relevant sponsorship obligation is generally not met due to earnings being less favourable/less than what the earnings were when the nomination was approved. As a result, in most instances, where part-time work arrangements occur, it will not be possible for sponsors to comply with this obligation because earning will drop below the required rate. Unless the arrangements meet one of the above scenarios and the below following four policy criteria are met:
- the pro-rata hourly rate of the approved nominated salary of the sponsored person does not decrease
- the role and duties conducted by the sponsored person remain consistent with the position approved at nomination
- the nominee is not employed under a Labour Agreement which was restricted to full-time arrangements only
- This arrangement is mutually agreed upon by the sponsor and sponsored person. Sponsors should maintain written evidence to demonstrate this agreement, and document the reason for the change.
In summary, it is possible that employers could still meet their sponsorship obligations, if their existing 482 visa holders are placed on short term, part-time work arrangements in situations where the applicant is on sick leave, returning from maternity leave or experiencing significant personal issues. The provision for part-time work is only available on an ongoing basis for a limited number of occupations.
For current and further information, please contact our Migration Agent Sydney.