Are you a business located in rural or regional Australia, with labour needs that can’t be met by Australian workers? If so, you could be eligible to become an Approved Employer with the Seasonal Worker Programme or the Pacific Labour Scheme.Find out how to apply
If you have short-term, seasonal labour needs, you can apply to recruit unskilled or low-skilled workers from Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste via the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP). To find out more, visit the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business’ SWP website.
If you need low-skilled or semi-skilled workers for one to three years, you can apply to become an Approved Employer with the Pacific Labour Scheme.
The first step is to complete our online prospective employer questionnaire to find out if you are eligible to become an Approved Employer with the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS).
Whether you meet the minimum requirements for the PLS or not, our team will be in touch to let you know the results of your application.
The Approved Employer application form provides us with the key information we need to start background and financial checks.
As part of the application, employers must provide recent financial statements to satisfy financial viability checks.
We need to understand how your business manages workplace health and safety requirements (plans and policies), how you intend to pay workers (awards or enterprise agreements), and what your induction processes involve.
We’ll also visit your business to further assess your suitability.
If you provide all the required paperwork on time, the entire application and approval process takes somewhere between four and six weeks.
Along with your application to become an Approved Employer, you will need to submit documents that detail the following:
After your Approved Employer application form is completed and submitted, we conduct background checks and then make a recommendation to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
If all checks and balances have been met, you will sign a Deed of Agreement with DFAT to become an Approved Employer with the Pacific Labour Scheme and you will be issued with an Approved Employer number.
There are no costs associated with becoming an Approved Employer.
You will also need to become a Temporary Activities Sponsor (TAS) with the Department of Home Affairs.
This is a relatively straightforward online process and is a one-off cost of AUD$420. You will need to quote your Approved Employer number when applying to be a TAS.
You are now ready to recruit your workers!
But first, you will need to conduct local labour market testing to satisfy the Australian Government’s “Australian worker first” approach and to make sure local workers are given priority.
Have a look at our labour market testing and recruitment plan for more information about how this works.
Once you submit your recruitment plan, in-country recruitment can commence. We will help you with worker preselection, screening, provide worker CVs and so on.
There are costs associated with travel, but employers who are already participating in the Pacific Labour Scheme have found the benefits of stability and minimal-to-zero staff turnover far outweigh any initial costs.