With the end of the financial year on the doorstep, approved Business Sponsors for 457 visas have less than two weeks to tidy up shop in relation to several of their sponsorship obligations. Failure to do so may result in fines or loss of sponsorship status and may also prevent future approvals of 457 and Employer Nomination applications.

Here are 3 action steps employers can take NOW to help meet your obligations:

1.            TRAINING: Sponsors approved prior to 1 July 2013 must ensure annual training expenditure is made prior to the end of the financial year. Pay 1% of gross payroll to train your Australian employees or deposit 2% into a training fund.

For employers approved from 1 July 2013 onwards, the training expenditure must be made within the 12 month anniversary of sponsorship approval.  The EOFY is a good time to nevertheless track YTD expenditure on training and budget for the balance to be spent in the coming financial year.

2.            TSMIT: the base salary threshold set on 1 July 2013 for the current financial year is $53 900. All 457 nominees must be paid at least that amount for a 38 hour week. If the salary has not been reviewed since 1 July, check the payroll figure now and top up as required.

The TSMIT will rise from 1 July (check our blog and Facebook page on that date for updates) and 457 visa holders’ base salaries must continue to meet the new TSMIT.

3.            T&C: apart from meeting the TSMIT criterion, employers must ensure that 457 visa holders are employed on equivalent terms and conditions – including salary – to Australian staff in the same position in the business or else at market rates. Check payroll YTD and adjust  / pay as necessary.

And, with the rise in the TSMIT on 1 July, it may also be necessary to adjust the salaries of any Australian employees against whom the 457 nominee’s salary is being equated.

A 457 sponsor’s obligations are not necessarily difficult to maintain but employers must be on top of those obligations and should schedule regular actions to ensure that their records reflect the keeping of those obligations.