RUAG on the Move - Together ahead in Austral-ASIA

Together Ahead in Australasia Since its acquisition of Melbourne-headquartered company Rosebank Engineering in late 2012 and the subsequent evolution to RUAG Australia, Swiss technology group RUAG has seen a doubling of its revenue in Australia and now aspires to further local success by strengthening its aviation MRO and manufacturing businesses through the further development of strategic partnerships, realisation of secured opportunities and assured best value offerings to customers.

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Whilst aviation remains RUAG's core in Australia, RUAG has many additional technologies, capabilities and services that could benefit the Australian customer, especially in support of Defence needs, and which would complement existing Australian industry capability and provide a further basis for strategic partnerships.

RUAG is strongly committed to ongoing success in Australia and the near region. To this end, a change to local organisation has been effected to deliver the necessary focus and concentration of effort to realise RUAG’s aspirations.

John Teager is appointed to a new position of VP Strategic Partnerships & Growth - Australasia and will continue to be RUAG’s principal representative in Australia. Terry Miles, currently Head of Quality and Business Services, is appointed as General Manager Operations Australia and will lead RUAG’s production capabilities across Australia to ensure ongoing delivery of high value, high quality and cost effective products and services in line with the needs of a dynamic and evolving customer base.

457 Visa replaced by Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa

From March 2018, the Australian Government introduced a new work visa in replacement of the 457 visa. (<=== click here to go to the Government site)

The Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa.  The TSS visa is a temporary visa which permits the holder to live in Australia, while working full-time for the sponsoring employer, in the nominated position.  Applicants for a TSS visa may include dependent family members in their application.

This update provides general information in relation to the three steps to the application process to sponsor a skilled overseas worker for a TSS visa.  The three steps are:  

·    SBS - Standard Business Sponsorship- the business must become approved as a standard business sponsor

·    Nomination- the business must nominate the position to be filled

·    VisaApplication- the skilled overseas worker must apply for a TSS (Subclass 482) visa

Step 1 - Sponsorship

To become a standard business sponsor, a business must demonstrate that it satisfies the sponsorship criteria, including its ability to comply with the sponsorship obligations in relation to the skilled overseas workers it intends to sponsor.  If the business has previously been a standard business sponsor, it must also demonstrate that it has complied with all sponsorship obligations during the previous sponsorship period.  Detailed information about the sponsorship obligations is available on the DHA website. Criteria for business sponsors include: 

·    It is a legally established business.  To satisfy the requirement, the sponsor must provide registration details such as ABN and/or ACN certificates, business name registration, ASIC company extracts and information on directors and shareholders. 

·    It is an actively operating business (even if only for a short period of time).  The sponsor must provide documents such as recent financial reports, tax returns, business activity statements, bank account statements and/or a detailed business plan (if a newly established business). 

·    It has a good record of or a demonstrated commitment to, training and employing Australian citizens and/or permanent residents.  Information must be provided on the number of Australian and foreign employees and payroll expenditure. 

·    It does not engage in discriminatory recruitment practices. 

·    It has not been subject to relevant adverse information.  This includes information that the sponsor has previously contravened a law or is under investigation or subject to a disciplinary action or legal proceedings in relation to such a contravention or that the business is subject to an administrative action. 

A sponsorship approval is valid for 5 years.  During this time, an approved sponsor may nominate as many overseas skilled workers as the business requires to fill certain positions in its organisation.  

Note: Businesses who currently hold a standard business sponsorship in relation to Subclass 457 visa holders will be able to continue to nominate skilled overseas workers for a TSS visa until the existing sponsorship approval expires.  

 

Step 2 - Nomination

Following the SBS application, an employer must nominate a position within their business as one which requires to be filled by an overseas citizen.  As part of this step, there are various requirements to be met.  Examples of the requirements are: 

The Occupation

Only occupations listed on the Medium and Long-term Strategic List (MLTSSL) and the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) are eligible for this visa.  The nominated occupation will determine the stream of the related visa application. Depending on the visa stream, different requirements must be satisfied.  You will find more information on these visa streams below in this Update.

Some of the occupations have inapplicability conditions placed on them which must be satisfied in addition to the other requirements.  The conditions may relate to work experience, minimum salary or the business.  The business must also advise the skills and/or work experience required for the position.  The minimum skill level required for the position (such as a specific degree/qualification and/or relevant work experience) depends on the occupation. 

DHA will review the STSOL and MLTSSL every six months which means that occupations which previously were eligible, may be moved from the MLTSSL to the STSOL or removed entirely.

The Employment

The skilled worker must be employed directly by the sponsor or by an associated entity of the sponsor.  This usually involves responsibility for payment of salaries, PAYG tax instalments and superannuation and the day-to-day supervision of the skilled worker.  If the skilled worker is employed by an associated entity, the sponsor will still retain ultimate responsibility including ensuring that all employment benefits are paid.  The overseas worker must be employed under a written employment contract signed by both the employer and the employee.  The position must be full time.  

Salary Level

The business must provide equivalent employment terms and conditions to what an Australian employee would receive.  This includes that the sponsor (or the associated entity) must pay the overseas worker the annual market salary rate (“AMSR”) which is appropriate for the location and industry of the nominated occupation.  This is to ensure that skilled overseas workers are not used to undercut local employment conditions and wages.  The business must provide information on how the AMSR was determined and demonstrate that the overseas worker will not be paid less than this amount.  Some occupations have a salary based condition placed on them. Exceptions do apply to this rule, for example: the obligation to pay market salary rates does not apply to sponsored persons who are being remunerated above the high income threshold (currently $250,000 per annum).

The Position

The sponsor must demonstrate that the position is genuine and consistent with the nature of the business, that the tasks of the position correspond to the tasks of an eligible occupation and that the position was not specifically created to gain a visa.  The business must provide a brief description of the nature of the business and the position, an organisational chart and evidence that the position has previously existed or, if the position has been newly created, evidence of an increase in business or new contracts secured by the business. 

Labour Market Testing

Labour market testing (LMT) requires a business to demonstrate that it has attempted to recruit an Australian citizen or permanent resident prior to nominating a foreign worker.  

LMT must be undertaken within the previous 6 month prior to lodging a nomination application or 4 months if an Australian employee has been retrenched or made redundant in the nominated position. This entails that a business must advertise the position (outlining the position details, the name of the sponsor and the annual earnings) on at least two suitable national recruitment websites (not including social media websites such as LinkedIn) or printed media in Australia in English for at least 21 days.  The business must demonstrate that there is not suitable qualified and experienced Australian citizen or permanent resident readily available to fill the nominated position.  Evidence to be provided includes copies of the advertisements and receipts for fees paid. 

LMT is not required where it would conflict with Australia’s international trade obligation.  This includes the following circumstances: 

·    The nominated skilled worker is a citizen or national of China, Japan or Thailand, or is a citizen, national or permanent resident of Chile, South Korea, Singapore or New Zealand. 

·    The nominated skilled worker is a current employee of an associated entity of the sponsor that is located in Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Chile, China, Japan, South Korea or New Zealand. 

·    The nominated skilled worker is a current employee of an associated entity of the sponsor that operates in a country that is a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the nominated occupation is an “Executive or Senior Manager” occupation and the nominee will be responsible for the entire or a substantial part of your company’s operations in Australia.

·    The sponsor’s business currently operates in a WTO member country and is seeking to establish a business in Australia and the nominated occupation is an “Executive or Senior Manager” occupation. 

·    The nominated skilled worker is a citizen of a WTO member country and has worked for the sponsor in the nominated position in Australia on a full-time basis for the last two years. 

Skilling Australia Fund– Training Levy

It has been proposed that businesses pay a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) at the time of the lodgement of the nomination application.  Please note that this requirement is still subject to legislation being passed by the Australian Senate.  

Businesses with an annual turnover of less than $10 million per year will be required to make an upfront payment of $1,200.00 per nominated visa year.  Businesses with an annual turnover of more than $10 million per year will be required to make an upfront payment of $1,800.00 per nominated visa year. 

There will be no refund of the levy if the visa holder leaves the sponsor before the expiry of the visa.

Collection of Tax File Numbers

It is proposed that DHA may collect TFNs of TSS visa holders for data matching with the Australian Taxation Office to ensure that visa holders are paid at least their nominated salary.  Please note that this also is still subject to legislation being passed by the Australian Parliament.

 

Step 3 - Visa Application

Step three of the process is the visa application itself, at which time the nominees must demonstrate that they meet the requisite skill level for their occupation, as well as health and character requirements.  The two visa streams available under the TSS program are: 

Short-term stream

Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)

If the occupation is on the STSOL, the applicant may apply under the short-term stream.  A visa may be granted for up to 2 years(or 4 years, if an international trade obligation applies). At the end of the first 2 years, the visa may be extended only once onshore for a further 2 years period. Subsequent TSS visas may be applied for from overseas.  Please note that the visa holder will notbe eligible for permanent residency. 

Medium-term stream

Medium and Long-term Strategic List (MLTSSL)

If the occupation is on the MLTSSL, the applicant may apply under the medium-term stream.  A visa may be granted for up to 4 years.  The visa may be renewed onshore multiple times.  The visa holder may be eligible for permanent residency after three years of full-time employment with the sponsor.

Skills, Qualifications and Work Experience

The skilled overseas worker must have the skills, qualifications and work experience to match those required for the nominated position.  In addition, all visa applicants are required to have at least 2 years’ full-time work experience (in the previous 5 years) in their nominated occupation.  This means that recent university graduates will not be eligible for a TSS visa. Persons from certain countries may be required to undergo a skills assessment for specific occupations.  

English Language

The visa applicant must provide an English language test satisfying the minimum level of English language proficiency in a test recognised by DHA.  The test must have been completed in the previous 3 years prior to lodgement of the visa application.  Some applicants may be exempt from the language requirements, for example citizens of some English-speaking countries.  

Character and Health

Skilled overseas workers must provide police certificates from each country that they have lived in for 12 months or more during the last 10 years since turning 16 years.  Applicants must provide residence and travel details for the last 10 years.  Depending on the personal circumstances such as country of citizenship and time spent in another country in the last five years, the skilled overseas worker must undergo a health examination by a DHA approved doctor.  

Genuine Temporary Entrant

The skilled overseas worker must be a genuine temporaryentrant.  This will be considered met unless the applicant has a history of holding a number of short term visas.

Family Members

Skilled overseas workers may bring their immediate family members (spouse or de facto partner and dependent children) to Australia. All family members must satisfy the character and health requirement (i.e. provide police certificates and undergo health examinations).  Additional visa application fees will be payable.   Family members are allowed to work and study in Australia. 

Note: Once the TSS visa has been approved, certain conditions apply.

Please note, this information is provided by Schweizer Kobras, as guidance only. It's strongly advised that you seek professional advise and compliance on this topic.

Australia Crypto Currency Exchanges must register

AUSTRALIA: Cryptocurrency exchanges must register with AUSTRAC this week

Cryptocurrency exchanges in Australia must now follow money laundering rules published by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). They must verify the identities of customers, report suspicious matters and transactions involving physical currency of AUD10,000, and keep records for seven years. A six-month grace period is allowed during which AUSTRAC will only take enforcement action if a business fails to take reasonable steps to comply, although they must register by 14 May 2018.

Hogan Lovells

 

Cyber Security Event 18 April 2018

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A small group of members enjoyed great presentation from Tony and Stephan from Rainier Group about the threats from the use of the Internet, but also about the risk the data a business is exposed in todays world.

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  • click on this link to explore online the risk map...===> here
  • For more information and help contact the Rainier Group via this link ===> here

Newsletter 2/18 - Apology

Dear Reader, the newsletter 2/18 has been sent out a couple of days ago. And through an oversight, a draft version of the newsletter was accidentally posted to the membership. We apologise for this mishap and hope you found anyway great value of the information provided.

SwissCham April 2018

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"Gruezi" from the Desk of SwissCham

Dear Members and Friends of SwissCham Australia 

2018 started with some big events which have been extremely successful. First we had the Pipilotti Rist event at the MCA and then we were able to celebrate the winners of the Swiss Business Award 2017. 

Needless to say this event was not only enjoyed by the board of SwissCham, the sponsors, the winners of the awards and of course of all Members and their guests, but it was a worth while celebration of outstanding contributions of Swiss Business in Australia. And with no doubt, all three winners have a global impact with their high quality products, solutions and the results in their field of research. 

On March 28th, we held our annual AGM. HWL Ebsworth provided the facility and some light refreshment were offered after the AGM. Our Chairman presented his annual report and the progress we made in the last 12 months.  Certainly the biggest challenge is to retain our valued members. With a more diversified event offering and more services we plan to offer, we will be ready for the challenges ahead. While we still have recorded a slight negative annual financial result, the improvement from the year before was significant. 

As reported in the last newsletter, we have been able to win Vicki Mullen from SwissRe to the board, and already some great energy has been created. I am also very pleased to inform the membership, that Stefano Solferini, has after one year  absence, due to some international secondment, rejoined the board of SwissCham. Stefano is like Vicki,  well connected and both will be bring a huge value to the further quality growth of SwissCham.  

We have plenty of great events lining up.

A highlight is certainly the visit of a Swiss Parliamentary Group. Two Business Breakfasts, in Sydney and Melbourne with some high profile members of the Chamber have been arranged (by personal invitation only).

On May the 3rd, our next board room lunch with the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Federal Member for Bradfield and Minister for Infrastructure and Cities is on the agenda.

Cyber Security is now a hot topic in Australia. After all the bungles and problems around this topic, we thought an event would be of high interest. So we are offering an event on the 18th April (still a few spots available). Interestingly the membership has so far not expressed a high interest to attend. This  is very interesting, when you know, that Australia just introduced new laws about breaches in Cyber Security, which must be taken seriously and need in many cases need to be reported to the Authorities. For more info click ===> here.

If you like to know more, visit out website about the coming events. (go to ===> www.swisscham.com.au/events)

Yours, 

Martin G Scarpino
CEO, SwissCham