Australia bans visas for fast food industry

Australia bans visas for fast food industryIn Australia foreign workers will be barred from employment at fast food restaurants in an unexpected crackdown by the federal government.

Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has scrapped a deal allowing fast food outlets to employ staff on a 457 visa. This will be the first time an entire sector has been banned from sponsoring overseas workers.

Of McDonalds’ some 90,000 staff in Australia, they employ 285 foreign workers under the Fast Food Industry Labour Agreement – that’s 0.31% of their staff. Similarly Hungry Jack’s workforce of over 18,900 staff is made up of approximately 0.39% foreign workers, and KFC’s workforce consists of 0.29% foreigners in their 30,000 strong workforce.

These workers will be forced to leave the country as soon as their current agreement finishes unless their employer submits an individual case as to why they should stay for assessment.

“Every Australian teenager should have the chance to get a job at the local shops,” Dutton said.

“The Aussie kid shouldn’t be knocked out of the job by a foreign worker, which is what Bill Shorten did,” he added.

The 457 visas are temporary visas designed to fill temporary skill shortages, with conditions that the visa holder is limited to working for the nominated occupation and sponsor.

457 visas have been considered helpful in attracting skilled workers to regional and rural towns in Australia. The skilled worker visa also extends to family members.

In exceptional circumstances, fast food outlets will still be allowed to make official requests for a foreign worker.

According to government statistics, 95,758 people were living in Australia on 457 visas in September last year, compared with 103,862 in 2015. The highest proportion came from India (24.6%), the UK (19.5%) and China (5.8%).
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