Churches and religious organisations will be able to hire temporary migrants as ministers and religious assistants without paying into a fund designed to support 300,000 Australian apprenticeships. Source: SBS News.
The Turnbull Government announced the Skilling Australians Fund in last year’s budget, but the mechanism is yet to pass the Senate.
Employers who hire a migrant worker under a temporary skills visa or an employer-nominated visa would be forced to pay a “levy” into the apprenticeship fund.
But 2018 Budget papers reveal religious groups will be exempted.
Many churches in Australia hire foreign ministers, often from strongly religious Latin American countries, or Asian nations like the Philippines and South Korea.
The scheme would have forced churches to pay up to $8000 per year for a temporary worker, or up to $5500 for a permanent visa holder.
“The government will exempt religious organisations from paying the Skilling Australians Fund levy when they nominate a foreign skilled worker for a Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) or Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visa,” the Budget papers read.