SwissCham AGM 2017 at Bridge Climb in the Rocks

The Annual AGM from SwissCham was hold in the historic building of the Harbour Bridge (the Bridge Climb Museum.

The event has been successful and the attendees enjoyed a smooth AGM. All topics were approved and the board with the president Peter Pluess were confirmed for the next 12 months.

At the end of the "business" the Dylon Rowland (General Manager 0f Sales) from the Bridge Climb gave an interesting presentation with a short video about the history of the famous Harbour Bridge in Sydney and the making of the Bridge Climb attraction.

Networking, drinks and beautiful finger food topped this event.

457 Visa Changes in Australia may affect you

Changes to the Work Visa Program

19 Apr 2017

The Federal Government yesterday announced significant changes to the work visa program in Australia. The announced changes affect only pending and prospective work visa applicants. They do not impact visas already approved. We have prepared a summary of those changes below:

Temporary Work Visas

Updated Sponsorship List and visa grant period – from 19 April 2017

The Skilled Occupation List (SOL) will now be referred to as the Medium and Long term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) will now be referred to as the Short term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).

Employers are able to nominate workers from both lists. The difference is in the duration of the visa approval. For occupations appearing on the MLTSSL, the visa can be granted for up to four years and for occupations on the STSOL, the visa will only be granted for two years.

It is likely that the Department will continue to permit applicants who are nominated under STSOL and MLTSSL list to renew their visas prior to it expiring.

The STSOL has removed 216 occupations from the CSOL. Common ones include Public Relations Manager (132411), Procurement Manager (133612), Media Producer (ex Video) (212112), Human Resource Adviser (223111), Liaison Officer (224912), Market Research Analyst (225112), Electronics Engineer (233411), Life Scientist (234511) and Retail Buyer (639211). See enclosed link containing the list of removed occupations .

Employers are no longer able to nominate these occupations and for applications which have not already been decided, the Department will provide applicants an opportunity to withdraw their application.

Introduction of Caveats

The Department has introduced Caveats to 59 occupations. These caveats serve as policy guidance for certain occupations which will likely be refused if the specific caveat requirement is not met.

We have prepared an overview of some of the Caveats for common occupations:

  • Accountants – the business must have a turnover of more than A$1 million, employ more than five employees and the position is not involved in clerical or book keeper duties
  • Chief Executive or Managing Director – the business must have a turnover of more than A$1 million, employ more than five employees and base salary above A$90,000 per annum
  • Corporate General Manager – the business must have a turnover of more than A$1 million, employ more than five employees and base salary above A$90,000 per annum
  • Customer Service Manager – the business is not front-line retail, has a turnover of more than A$1 million and base salary above A$65,000
  • Management Consultant – the business must have a turnover of more than A$1 million and employ more than five employees
  • Marketing Specialist – the business is not front-line retail, not predominantly a client interaction role, turnover of more than A$1 million and base salary above A$65,000
  • Recruitment Consultant – the business must have a turnover of more than A$1million, employ more than five employees and base salary above A$65,000
  • Sales and Marketing Manager – the position is not front-line retail, not predominantly client interaction role, turnover of more than A$1 million and base salary above A$65,000
  • Supply and Distribution Manager – the business must have a turnover of more than A$1million, employ more than five employees and base salary above $65,000
  • Technical Sales Representative Not Elsewhere Classified – the position is not front line retail, not based in call centres, not predominantly selling education courses and base salary above $65,000.

Further updates to the 457 program – 1 July 2017

The Department has indicated that further changes are planned for the 457 visa program from 1 July 2017. These include further adjustments to the occupation list, expanding the list of occupations requiring a skills assessment, abolishing the English language salary exemption threshold which exempts applicants from having to satisfy the English language requirement if paid above A$96,400 per annum, minor changes to the training benchmark requirement and mandating character certificates.

Introduction of the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa – March 2018

The TSS is expected to supersede the 457 visa in its current form. Some of the proposed changes include mandating labour market testing for all occupations, introduction of the non-discriminatory workforce test and require all applicants to have at least two years of relevant work experience.

We will continuously monitor any updates with the TSS and share concreate details with you as they become available.

Permanent Employer Sponsored Work Visas

Updated Skills Occupations List – from 19 April 2017

Applicants who intend on submitting applications under the Direct Entry stream of Permanent Employer Sponsored Work Visas will need to nominate an occupation which appears either on the STSOL or MLTSLL list (see above).

Further changes from July 2017

Applicants will need to sit for an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (or equivalent) and score at least 6 in each test component. The announcement is still unclear whether visa holders from predominantly English speaking countries (UK, US, NZ, Canada, Ireland) would need to complete this test. We will update you in due course.

Applicants under the Direct Entry stream will need to be less than 45 years of age at the time of application. Applications under the Temporary Residence Transition stream will need to be less than 50 at the time of application.

The Department has announced the following proposed changes from March 2018 onwards; use of the MLTSLL list for sponsorship, employees must be paid above the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (currently A$53,900 per annum), permanent residency eligibility will be extended from two to three years and lowering the age threshold to 45 for all streams. We will be sharing further details as they become available.

Tags: 457457 VisaAustraliafederalPermanent Employer Sponsored Work VisasTemporary Skill ShortageTemporary Work VisasvisaWork VisaWork Visa Program

For more Information please contact:  oliver.jankowsky@hallandwilcox.com.au/ Partner

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SwissRe estimates its losses from Cyclone Debbie at approx USD 350 million

Please find below the latest Swiss Re Ltd news release
 

  • Swiss Re estimates its claims burden from Cyclone Debbie in Australia to be around USD 350 million, net of retrocession and before tax
  • Total insured market losses currently estimated to be approximately USD 1.3 billion

Swiss Re estimates its claims burden from Tropical Cyclone Debbie in Australia at approximately USD 350 million, net of retrocession and before tax. Swiss Re expects Cyclone Debbie to have resulted in a higher share of large commercial and corporate losses compared to similar events in the past. The total insured market losses for wind, flood and storm surge damages are estimated to be approximately USD 1.3 billion.

Tropical Cyclone Debbie made landfall on 28 March 2017 as a category 4 hurricane; making it the strongest cyclone to hit the Australian region since 2015. The eye of the storm came ashore near Airlie Beach on the north Queensland coast, with estimated 10-minute sustained winds of close to 200km/h. The main disaster zone stretched more than 990 km from the point of landfall, reaching northern New South Wales. Within New South Wales, both Central and South Lismore are protected by levees, but in both cases the levees were overtopped, contributing to significant damage.

"This destructive cyclone caused structural damage by flooding, storm surge and wind in regions close to the Queensland coast," says Matthias Weber, Swiss Re's Group Chief Underwriting Officer. "We are a lead reinsurer in this market and estimate that Cyclone Debbie has caused higher commercial and corporate losses compared to similar events in the past. We express our sympathies to those affected and will continue to work closely with our partners and clients to ensure that people receive the financial support they need to clean up and rebuild after this tragic event."

High winds triggered a storm surge and contributed to surface water flooding from large amounts of accumulated rainfall. A peak storm surge of 2.7 meters was measured at Laguna Quays, on the coast of Queensland. Hundreds of residential and commercial buildings were flooded; several thousand residents and business operators were evacuated from the region. The Queensland Farmers' Federation estimates winter crop losses at 20%.

Notes to editors

About Swiss Re 
The Swiss Re Group is a leading wholesale provider of reinsurance, insurance and other insurance-based forms of risk transfer. Dealing direct and working through brokers, its global client base consists of insurance companies, mid-to-large-sized corporations and public sector clients. From standard products to tailor-made coverage across all lines of business, Swiss Re deploys its capital strength, expertise and innovation power to enable the risk-taking upon which enterprise and progress in society depend. Founded in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1863, Swiss Re serves clients through a network of over 60 offices globally and is rated "AA-" by Standard & Poor's, "A1" by Moody's and "A+" by A.M. Best. Registered shares in the Swiss Re Group holding company, Swiss Re Ltd, are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and trade under the symbol SREN. For more information about Swiss Re Group, please visit: www.swissre.com or follow us on Twitter @SwissRe.

For logos and photography of Swiss Re executives, directors or offices go to www.swissre.com/media