The Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy has an official start date: this Sunday, 12 August. Are you/your sponsor/employer interested in applying for the 482 TSS, 186 ENS or 187 RSMS visas? Or did you apply for the 457 visa before 13 March 2018? Read on because this news affects you!
Here's an easy-to-read summary of the changes.
When: This Sunday, 12 August 2018
Who: The SAF Levy needs to be paid by employers nominating workers for the following visas:
- Subclass 457 Temporary Work Skilled visas (where current holders want to change to a different approved sponsor)
- Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage visas
- Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme visas
- Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visas
What: From 12 August 2018, the training benchmark will be replaced with the new SAF levy. Previously, sponsors need to maintain annual expenditure equivalent to 1% - 2% of the total business payroll to the formal training of their Australian employees/maintaining scholarship funds for TAFEs. From 12 August 2018, employers now will need to pay a once-off, capped levy.
Important note: Previously, as long as the sponsor meets the training benchmark, they can nominate any number of employees (subject to genuine position requirements) without extra training charges. Under the SAF Levy system, they would need to pay the SAF levy for every nominee.
Additionally, a number of refund provisions have been made, including:
where the sponsorship application was refused
where the 186/187 employee ceases working for the employer
where the nomination application is withdrawn
What Does This Mean For Me: Your employer may be better off or worse off with these changes, which affects their ability/desire to sponsor you. It is important therefore that you understand what these changes mean for them.
What Does This Mean For My Employer: Your employer may be needing to pay more under the new scheme. Your employer no longer needs to spend 1% - 2% of total payroll on training expenditure for immigration purposes. However, the SAF levy may mean a higher overall cost depending on the business turnover.
Q: What are the main differences between the training benchmark and SAF levy for my employer?
A: The main differences are: 1) when it is paid, 2) how it is paid, 3) how much is paid.
1. When is it paid? When the nomination application is lodged, instead of when the business sponsorship application is lodged.
2. How is it paid? The SAF levy is a once-off payment.The amount spent on training Australian employees is no longer relevant.
3. How much is paid? Employers need to pay the SAF levy for each nominee. The SAF levy amount varies according to the turnover of the business and the duration of visa that the nominee is applying for. (See below for details)
Q: How much is paid?
For 482 TSS and 457 visas:
Where business turnover is less than $10 million, for every nominee, the charge is:
$1,200 if they're applying for a 1 year visa
$2,400 if they're applying for a 2 year visa
$3,600 if they're applying for a 3 year visa
$4,800 if they're applying for a 4 year visa
Where business turnover is more than $10 million, for every nominee, the charge is:
$1,800 if they're applying for a 1 year visa
$3,600 if they're applying for a 2 year visa
$5,400 if they're applying for a 3 year visa
$7,200 if they're applying for a 4 year visa
For 186 ENS and 187 RSMS visas:
Where business turnover is less than $10 million, for every nominee, the charge is: $3,000.
Where business turnover is more than $10 million, for every nominee, the charge is: $5,000.
Q: Is this good news or bad news for me and my employers?
A: It depends on the numbers. This is best illustrated with an example.
Business A wants to sponsor 2 people on a 482 visa (where the occupation is on the medium-long term list). Business A has an annual turnover of $1 million and pays $400,000 per year in wages.
Under the old training benchmark system, the business would need to spend at least the following in training expenses over a 4 year period: $400,000 x 1% x 4 years = $16,000.
With the new SAF Levy, this business would only need to pay: $4,800 + $4,800 = $9,600.
Hypothetically, if business A wanted to sponsor 4 people on a 482 visa, they would be better off under the old training benchmark system, but worse off under the SAF.
Are your employers concerned about these changes? Are you worried that this news may affect your employment/sponsorship? Please feel free to book in a free 1-to-1 consultation with our Principal Migration Agent to discuss your situation and how this news affects you.