International Students Can Work More Hours in Australia

Monday, 19 Jul 2021

International Students Can Work More Hours in Australia

Some good news for international students in Australia; they can now work more than 40 hours per fortnight in states and territories subject to COVID-19 lockdowns.

The Morrison government has decided that supermarkets in lockdown impacted parts of the country, such as New South Wales and Victoria, can employ international students and have them work in excess of the 40-hour fortnightly cap.

The move aims to help businesses stay open and meet the high customer demand for critical goods amidst fresh lockdowns after a surge in cases.

Alex Hawke, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs called supermarket workers the “unsung heroes” of the pandemic and said lifting the fortnightly cap should provide the essential workers with “added income flexibility” during state/territory lockdowns.

The decision came after an urgent call for relief from the supermarket sector with many staff subject to self-isolation orders.

In the UK, supermarket staffing problems are also starting to surface. Budget chain Iceland has today announced temporary site closures with many staff forced to self-isolate.

The ‘pingdemic’ looks set to continue with the rapid rise of cases only likely to grow further with England’s restrictions now their lightest since the start of the crisis.

Back in Australia, the Border Force and Department of Home Affairs had previously announced they would take a flexible approach to student visa holders working extra hours in other sectors such as tourism and hospitality.

The Department of Home Affairs stresses that international students must continue to balance their study and work commitments even with the added flexibility. Students must maintain their course enrolment and ensure satisfactory attendance and progress.

Students who stop attending classes or cancel their enrolment may be in breach of their visa conditions, warned the department.

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