What is the SAF Levy?

Sponsors for Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) and Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) visas are required to provide training to their Australian employees pursuant to the training benchmarks. Until now, this has required the sponsor to either make a financial contribution to an industry training fund of at least 2% of its payroll each year, or it spends at least 1% of its payroll on training.

Employers who wish to sponsor employees on the TSS subclass 482, ENS and RSMS programs must make upfront training contributions at the time of nomination.

The levy is payable in full at the time the worker is nominated and the amount depends on the size of the business. The levy does not apply to dependent TSS visa applicants or to existing 457 visa holders.

How much?

Business Size                                            TSS Visa ENS                                        RSMS

Small (annual turnover less than $10m)     $1,200 per year (or part thereof)            $3000 one off

Other Businesses                                       $1,800 per year (of part thereof)             $3000 one off

Can I get my employee to pay the SAF levy?

No – Businesses are prohibited from passing on the costs of the SAF levy to overseas skilled workers, as is currently the case for all other sponsorship costs.

Will there be any exemptions?

No. Businesses are unable to offset their SAF levy liability by demonstrating their own training expenditure. Employers sponsoring intra-corporate transfers are equally required to pay the SAF levy.

For more information please contact Stirling Henry, Director of Migration Services elise.vale@stirlinghenry.com