Removal of subclass 457: Sydney Chapter discusses

A summary of the Sydney Chapter Meeting on 10 August, 2017.

Go to the profile of Aysegul Kayahan
Aug 18, 2017

Sydney Chapter Meeting on the 10th August 2017  was titled “Farewell Subclass 457: Our New Reality” and hosted by KPMG.

Our May Chapter meeting focused on the significant immigration changes that were announced in March and so in this session we went beyond the technical, looking at the practical side of the matter and how the corporate community were managing their programs in this new and altered immigration environment.  The technical landscape continues to be ever-changing,  more technical updates were also made from an immigration and tax perspective (the May budget released some tax changes for expatriates).

Additionally, in July another round of announcements regarding the skilled occupations list was made; a brief technical update from the migration advisory team was made and included in slide deck. 

The panel discussion was led by Julie Donnellan of KPMG and the panellists were:

  • Lilian Hyunh, Head of Compensation and Benefits at BNP Paribas
  • David Coats, General Manager at Mediabrands
  • Belinda Wright, Director at KPMG

Some of the questions asked were:

  • What they are doing in their businesses to respond to the changes including identification of affected employees?
  • How did you go about informing impacted employees
  • Implementation of strategies around timing of applications?
  • What their employees are saying and how they are planning for the future?
  • What are the implications of the changes for your organisation with people on existing 457 visas?
  • What do you see as the main challenges affecting your organisation, in attracting and retaining senior management and specialists under the new arrangements?
  • What are some of the broader strategic steps you have for attracting or retaining overseas talent?
  • There are further changes to become into effect March 2018, how are you preparing for the changes

As Sydney followed on from Melbourne and Brisbane Chapters, we found there was a great of similarity in the corporate responses in terms of what they were doing even though people are in different industries – all of these organisations were heavily impacted and needed to be proactive in their response.

The following are only some of the items raised by the panel and the content makes more sense with the slide deck (which lists many of the changes):

  • The requirement to educate the business -  not that easy to bring people here anymore, more time consuming in terms of visa processing time, etc. 
  • Review of population of expats, dealing first with the critical cases impacted by the changes.
  • Businesses can’t offer permanent contracts as Permanent Residency is not guaranteed, consider offering only fixed term contracts.
  • As a result of the heavy impact of the changes on the workforces, companies have been proactive in providing feedback to the government and lobby groups and to their employees.
  • A key area of development was ensuring the Global Mobility Teams had the relevant technical knowledge to help advise the business and employers.
  • Age limits for permanent residency will impact the attraction of senior people.
  • There have been a lot of one-on-one conversations in immigration briefings and people discussing that it is time to head home. 
  • Clients were already concerned about getting the right skill set into Australia now even more difficulty. 
  • Some tricky issues to work through with the talent acquisition team but have found ways to get to the right outcome in most cases.
  • Examples of people who have outright refused to relocate on the basis that not worth relocating for 2 years.
  • The issue of labour market testing was raised and how it was being handled by different organisations.
  • To what extent grandfathering would apply.
  • So much uncertainty still exists, much lobbying going on.
  • Impact is great in certain areas, especially about the ability to retain certain skill sets in Australia.
  • Reassessment of recruit and training strategies.

Want to know more about the Sydney Chapter Meeting or receive updates on future events? Please email Aysegul Kayahan

Go to the profile of Aysegul Kayahan

Aysegul Kayahan

Director, Relocation Specialists

Aysegul Kayahan, managing director of Relocation Specialists in Queensland and Victoria has been in the global mobility industry since 1993. Aysegul started the Forum for Expatriate Management community in Australia in early 2012, with chapters in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. From February 2015 to January 2017, Aysegul was appointed to the role of global chair of Chapter Leads for the Forum for Expatriate Management.

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