During the lockdown, international students working in supermarkets in Australia will no longer be subject to a 40-hour weekly restriction. Alex Hawke, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services, and Multicultural Affairs, stated that the Morrison government has enabled retailers in states and territories subject to COVID-19 lockdowns to hire international students for more beyond the 40-hour-per-fortnight limit.
This is to assist companies in remaining open and supermarkets in meeting the strong demand for vital items. For the length of their respective lockdown periods, this interim measure will apply to all supermarkets and related distribution facilities in New South Wales and Victoria.
Supermarket employees have become the pandemic’s unsung heroes. They stepped up to ensure Australians had access to vital supplies, and they have continued to do so even in the worst days of the pandemic, according to Hawke. This temporary approach guarantees that supermarkets can continue to deliver important services to the community, while also allowing essential staff to earn more money during lockdowns.
This decision comes in response to a plea for immediate respite from the grocery industry, which has many employees on self-isolation orders. The Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Border Force previously stated that they would take a flexible approach to student visa holders, including those who work beyond their usual work limits if they are employed by aged and disability care providers, agriculture, tourism, and the hospitality sector.
Even if work hours in some industries are more flexible, international students must continue to balance their education and employment responsibilities, according to the Department of Home Affairs.
Students who work in the allowed industries for more than 40 hours per fortnight must continue their course enrolment and guarantee good attendance and progress. According to the government, those who cancel their registration and cease attending courses, or fail to make sufficient course progress, may be in violation of their visa restrictions.
“You may be eligible for a COVID-19 Pandemic (subclass 408) visa if you are working or have an offer of employment in one of the aforementioned areas and have completed your degree. This visa can only be applied for 90 days before your student visa expires. If you desire to work more than 40 hours per fortnight in one of the above-mentioned areas, you do not need to contact us,” it said.
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