Some Working Holiday Makers enjoy extension to work for same employers

Starting January 1, 2024, some new rules will be in place for Working Holiday Makers (WHMs) in Australia. These rules will be in effect until the government makes further decisions as part of the WHM reform work.

Working for the same employer for more than 6 months was relaxed during COVID but tightened most recently to go back to the old rule (of not being able to work more than 6 months without prior permission from the department).

Now, WHMs can work for the same employer for more than 6 months without asking for permission if:

  1. They work in different places, and no single location exceeds 6 months.
  2. They work in plant and animal cultivation anywhere in Australia.
  3. They work in specific industries, such as aged care, disability services, fishing, pearling, tree farming, felling, construction, and mining, but only in northern Australia (check the website for the definition of Northern Australia).
  4. They are doing natural disaster recovery work since February 17, 2020.
  5. They are working in critical sectors, including agriculture, food processing, health, aged and disability care, childcare, tourism, and hospitality, depending on the date (check the specified dates in the announcement).

For any other situations not mentioned above, WHMs must ask for permission if they want to work for the same employer for more than 6 months.

If Working Holiday Makers (WHMs) need to ask for permission to work for the same employer for more than 6 months

They should follow these steps:

  1. Timing: Submit the request at least two weeks before the initial six-month work period ends.
  2. Submission Method: Put the request in writing, preferably using [Form 1445 – Request permission to work with an employer beyond six months on a Working Holiday or Work and Holiday visa. Alternatively, they can email the Department or use the webform (operational from 22/12/2023).
  3. Details to Include: Specify when they started working with their employer and when the six-month period will end. Provide full details of the ‘limited circumstances’ for which they are seeking permission to work longer than six months.
  4. Duration: Specify how long they wish to continue working for their employer.
  5. Supporting Documentation: Include supporting documentation from the employer, such as a one-page letter on company letterhead outlining the exceptional circumstances.

For those who have already submitted a request for approval to work for longer than 6 months for the same employer, they can keep working for the same employer until they receive a written outcome of their request.

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