What is the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) Levy?
The Skilling Australians Fund Levy is a contribution to be paid by employers that are sponsoring employees from overseas. The levy is paid into the Skilling Australians Fund which is a fund that endeavours to support training programs in order to strengthen and improve the skillset of Australians.
Do I Need to Pay the Skilling Australians Fund Levy?
If you have lodged a nomination application on or after 12 August 2018, then the levy must be paid on the subsequent nomination applications:
- TSS 482 Nomination
- Subclass 494 Nomination
- RSMS 187 Nomination (now closed to new applications)
- ENS 186 Nomination
Am I Entitled to a Skilling Australians Fund Refund?
A Skilling Australians Fund refund may be available to employers in limited circumstances, including where an employee has ceased employment. Where an employee ceases to work, the employer/sponsor may request a refund for the years which the employee did not work.
However, it is to be noted that this is only applicable for TSS (subclass 482) visas and does not apply to ENS or RSMS holders who depart their employer within 12 months of being employed.
Am I Entitled to a Skilling Australians Fund Refund if my Nomination was Refused?
Consequently, this situation is not a circumstance that warrants a refund of the SAF levy. To circumvent the possibility of a nomination being refused, it is advised that all nominees ensure that the Labour Market Testing requirements are met as this is a common reason for refusal.
Is a SAF Levy Refund Available if my Sponsored Worker Never Commenced Employment?
Yes, however, the sponsored worker must have ceased working prior to the commencement of work. For example, if you have sponsored a worker and all three stages of the visa process is approved, but prior to coming to Australia the worker contacts you to inform you that they have changed their mind and are moving to a different country, then in this circumstance a refund of the SAF levy will be available.
If your employee leaves the sponsoring employer within the first 12 months of employment where the visa period was fore more than 12 months, a refund of the unused full years of the SAF levy is available.
It is important to note though, that under the ENS or RSMS visa program, visa holders who leave their employer within the first 12 months are not entitled to a refund.
Is a SAF Levy Refund Available if I Withdraw My TSS (Subclass 482) Nomination?
A Skilling Australians Fund levy refund will be available if the TSS (subclass 482) nomination application is withdrawn in one of three circumstances, after your standard business application is refused or withdrawn; prior to a determination being reached regarding your request for labour agreement; or consequently after labour agreement negotiations have failed.
Can I Get a SAF Levy Refund Given That My Sponsored Worker was Refused Their TSS (Subclass 482) Visa?
Yes, however, the visa refusal must be on the basis of section 501 of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth); or not meeting Public Interest Criterion 4001, 4002, 4003, 4007, 4020.
If you would like further information on sponsoring an overseas employee in Australia for your business, or further details on the particulars of the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) Levy please contact our office.