Workplace & Employment
In Australia, the Modern Slavery Act 2018 commenced operation on 1 January 2019, creating reporting obligations for certain entities. The term modern slavery is used to describe situations where coercion, threats or deception are used to exploit victims and undermine or deprive them of their freedom. It describes serious exploitation and not substandard working conditions or the underpayment of workers. The Australian government, in support of UN Guiding Principles, aims to combat modern slavery in the Australian community and in the global supply chains of Australian goods and services. Who needs to report? Entities that have: Consolidated revenue of at least $100 million for the relevant reporting period (a financial year), and which Are Australian identities, or Undertake business in Australia in that financial year What do I need to report? The mandatory criterion are: The reporting entity’s structure, operations and supply chains; Modern slavery risks in the reporting entity’s operations and supply chains (including those of subsidiary entities); Actions taken (including by subsidiary entities) to assess and address those modern slavery risks, including due diligence and remediation processes; How the reporting entity assesses the effectiveness of actions taken; and The process of consultation with subsidiary entities in preparing the modern slavery statement. When do I need to report by? Affected entities must report in respect of the first full reporting period following commencement and must report within 6 months of that period ending. For example, the reporting period for entities with a 30 June year end will be 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022, with reporting due by 31 December 2022. Further information Further information and links to the online registers can be found here: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/criminal-justice/Pages/modern-slavery.aspx Please contact H & H Lawyers for further legal advice for submitting a modern slavery report. [Disclaimer] The contents posted are general legal information, not legal advice, and the author and publisher have no legal responsibility for the contents. Each post is based on the law that was in force at the time of writing. Please consult a lawyer directly for accurate legal advice.
30 Mar 2021
The Australian Government has announced the new temporary activity visa under subclass 408 in a bid to support public health professionals in the face of the COVID-19 situations. Now officially created under the Temporary Activity visa stream, the new subclass 408 Australian Government Endorsed Event (AGEE) visa (hereinafter “COVID-19 Pandemic Visa”) has been implemented as an interim measure for the purpose of responding to the unprecedented circumstances which Australia is facing now, caused by the pandemic of COVID-19. As such, given its temporary nature, this visa will be frequently reviewed, revised and ultimately be abolished once the pandemic is controlled. Eligibility To be eligible for this visa, you must meet the following criteria: currently residing in Australia unable to depart Australia due to COVID-19 border shutdowns current visa is to expire within 28 days or last temporary visa expired less than 28 days ago no other visas available in the given circumstances employed in a critical industry sector and your employer is able to provide evidence that it is difficult to replace your role with another permanent resident or citizen. Critical sectors If you are currentlyholding a working holiday visa; working in industries such as agriculture, food production, processing and distribution, and aged, child and disability care; and unable to return to your home country or ineligible for other visas, then, you are eligible to apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic visa. A Seasonal Worker Programme visa holder whose visa is set to expire within the next 28 days is also eligible to apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic visa. Similarly, so long as the visa holder is employed in the above critical sectors, anyone whose visa is temporary, has no other option to extend and cannot return to their home countries can apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic visa. In this case, you will be required to provide evidence of your employment together with the application form. Last Resort Even if you are a temporary visa holder staying in Australia but not working in the critical sectors, you may be eligible to apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic visa on the basis that you are unable to return to your home country. Once the visa is granted, you will be lawfully allowed to stay in Australia until you can return to your home country safely. If you are currently on a bridging visa and your original visa application has been rejected, then you will not be eligible for this visa. For more information, please follow this link.
01 May 2020
I assume that for many of you living in Australia, the thought of reuniting with family members back at home is more than fleeting. A new pathway has recently been introduced to allow Australian citizens and permanent residents to reunite with their parents living overseas. The Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa, which does not lead to permanent residency, will allow eligible parents to visit their children for up to 10 years. Applications for sponsorship have since commenced from April while visa applications will begin 1st of July. To answer our queries about the Sponsored Parent Visa 870 and its eligibility requirements, we are joined here today with John Kim, Partner and Immigration specialist at H & H Lawyers in Sydney. [Advice content] Would you begin by telling us the main features of the Sponsored Parent Visa which opened applications from the 1st of July? What are the eligibility requirements for the sponsored parent and sponsoring child? Is it possible to apply for a Sponsored Parent Visa if your parent has an existing application, or has previously applied, for a parent visa? Unsurprisingly, the waiting process for Parent Visa applications continues to be controversial. How much does it generally cost to obtain a Contributory Parent (Permanent) Visa or a Non-Contributory Parent (Permanent) Visa? How long is the waiting process that it has caused such controversy? What are the key pieces of information one should keep in mind before inviting their parents? We were joined here today with Partner John Kim who has helped us navigate the new Sponsored Parent (Temporary) Visa 870. Unlike in the past, where parents could only visit their children who had been citizens and permanent residents of Australia for more than half their lives, the new Sponsored Parent Visa provides an alternative pathway for younger immigrants to reunite with their parents back home. Nevertheless, there are stringent conditions attached to the new visa, such as application fees exceeding $10, 000, non-access to Medicare and income tests. It is vital that prospective applicants seek professional advice and undertake diligent preliminary investigation prior to applying. To know more about living in Australia, visit our Facebook page and leave us a comment with your questions. Talk Talk S Pod is always here to provide you with the latest information. https://www.sbs.com.au/language/korean/audio/talk-talk-s-pod-the-parent-visa-in-australia
03 Dec 2019
The Immigration Department of Australia has made some recent changes to the Working Holiday Visa since 1 July this year. The Visa, which is a popular option for young people from Korea looking to learn English, earn money and experience foreign living, comes with various requirements which potential applicants will need to be vigilant of complying with. In this Interview, John Kim Partner at H & H Lawyers, takes us through eligibility requirements as well as the recent changes and what this means for prospective Visa applicants. Finally, listeners are provided with key practical points to remember in relation to living in Australia while on a Working Holiday Visa and things they may wish to prepare for before travelling. - Today, we will be talking about the working holiday visa - or what many would call the third privilege of youth. We are here again with Partner John Kim from H & H Lawyers Sydney to discuss your queries in relation to this visa. Visa Advice Content: Since 1st July this year, the working holiday visa period has extended from a total period of 2 years to 3 years. This means that young people from Korea can now learn English, earn money and experience foreign living for a whole added year. What has changed with the working holiday visa? I assume this would be good news for those people who will no longer need to end their working holiday experience in Australia within what is often a short 2 years. In terms of eligibility, what are the age requirements or other conditions that would need to be satisfied in order to apply? Since announcing the last amendment, certain countries have lifted the age requirement for their working holiday visas from 30 to 35 years. What are the chances of the age requirement lifting for Korea? Would you be able to provide us with a comprehensive overview of the changes made in relation to the working holiday visa? We know that working holiday visa holders have been paying taxes. But as we mentioned last week on our broadcast, the Federal Court has held that requiring the payment of taxes from working holiday visa holders is indeed illegal. Ever since the decision, visa holders have been eager to find out whether the taxes they have been paying would be returned. Producer Sungil Park will be providing us with the details. [Federal Court Rules Taxing Working Holiday Visa Holders Illegal https://www.sbs.com.au/language/korean/yeonbang-beobweon-hoju-weokingholridei-segeumeun-bulbeob-pangyeol-gugseceong] Since the news was announced last week, there has been significant interest being shown from those on working holiday. We will need to watch closely what will happen with this decision. [Visa advice continued] Partner John Kim will now continue with answering our questions in relation to the working holiday visa. Is there anything a young working holiday visa holder in Australia should be particularly aware of? Thank you John for the practical advice. These days, many of those on working holiday have been youtubing their daily lives in Australia and engaging in a lot of social media, including Instagram and Facebook. I do think this is a good way of creating these memories while working hard often in rural areas. For someone who has just been granted a working holiday visa, what are some things they can prepare for before leaving for Australia? Today we were joined by Partner John Kim who has helped us navigate the various requirements in relation to applying for a working holiday visa. On 20 November 2020 at 6pm, the Australian embassy will be holding a seminar for working holiday visa holders residing in Bunbury, Western Australia. The seminar which will be held at Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre will share vital information on safety in Australia, legal pointers, pensions and useful tips for settling into Australia after you have arrived. For those interested, this is a good opportunity to gain valuable insights on how best to adjust to life on working holiday in Australia. To know more about living in Australia, visit our Facebook page and leave us a comment with your questions. Talk Talk S Pod is always here to provide you with the latest information. https://www.sbs.com.au/language/korean/audio/talk-talk-s-pod-working-holiday-visa-in-australia
12 Nov 2019
It is no doubt that Partner Visas have been taken advantage of by applicants seeking to achieve migration outcomes. The Immigration Department is well aware of these intentions and strict measures have been put in place to ensure only genuine relationships are granted a Visa. Nevertheless, the nature of the Partner Visa makes it difficult to gauge how an applicant might prove their relationship beyond a marriage certificate or the fact that they may be living with their partner. In this interview, John Kim Partner at H & H Lawyers, provides us with a comprehensive yet concise overview of what to look out for when applying for the Visa. We will be covering eligibility requirements, the kinds of evidence an applicant should produce to show that their relationship is genuine, application fees, processing times and Australian Partner Visa quotas. The interview is informative and easy to understand for anyone interested in applying for the Visa. - We are here today with John Kim, Partner Lawyer at H & H Lawyers, to unravel some questions regarding the Partner Visa. To start off, what are the eligibility requirements for a sponsor when lodging a partner visa application? Partner John Kim: Firstly, to sponsor anyone who is applying for a partner visa, you must either be an Australian permanent resident or citizen. Generally, a sponsor will have two opportunities to be a sponsor in his or her lifetime. If according to the visa application timeline, you have sponsored a partner visa or have been a recipient of a partner visa within the past 5 years, you will not be eligible as a sponsor. Indeed, there are exceptions to these rules, though they are very rare and generally do not arise in the usual circumstance. [Advice content] To apply for a partner visa, there seems to be a lot of requirements that need to be satisfied to prove your relationship with your partner. What kind of evidence is needed? It seems obvious to say that if one partner is currently married to another person, that a visa application could not procced. That being said - Is it true that a partner who has legally separated, though not divorced, can still apply for a partner visa for migrating purposes? This partner visa, which allows one to live with the person they love in Australia, remains one of the most expensive visas in the world. Just in the past 5 years, the cost for applying has increased more than four-fold. It goes without saying that such cost remains a consideration which simply can’t be ignored. How expensive is it that the cost of applying has become such a major factor in the decision process? It’s widely known that the time needed to process this application is quite long. About how long does it take? Permanent migration in Australia has been capped at 160, 000. Is there a quota for partner visa applications? [To access Partner Kim’s advice, click on the advice picture] Producer Hong Tae Kyung: While it’s true that many have exploited the partner visa, it’s sad to see that even relationships which are truly needing the visa to live happily together a family may lose the right to do so. It therefore seems all the more important to prepare diligently when applying to best prevent an unideal outcome. What are the some of the more crucial and note-worthy points potential applicants will need to keep in mind when applying? Partner John Kim: There are many applicants who, despite being married or a de-facto couple, have been left shocked with the significant amount of information which needs to be provided when requested by the immigration department. As the basic level, it is important to be able to show or provide information to the immigration department that you are not merely in a relationship with your partner. Rather, you need to be able to prove that there is genuine intention to spend your future together with them. The immigration case officer will critically assess your case, often with the view that you are merely in a relationship, or perhaps even a disguised marriage. To give your application the best shot at approval, it will be helpful to have documents and evidence at hand which will be capable of altering the officer’s perspective and alleviating their suspicions. Today we were joined by Partner John Kim who has helped us navigate the various eligibility requirements pertaining to a partner visa application. To know more about living in Australia, visit our Facebook page and leave us a comment with your questions. Talk Talk S Pod is always here to provide you with the latest information. https://www.sbs.com.au/language/korean/audio/talk-talk-s-pod-the-partner-visa-in-australia
02 Nov 2019
Thursday, 13 June 2019 – Rise of the boutique law firm Doing business with international partners – whether it be an entity operating on Australian soil or a local brand venturing offshore – can be fraught with difficulty. Between establishing a fresh customer base, navigating new laws, regulations and corporate governance, creating effective relationships and becoming nuanced with cultural mores (perhaps the trickiest of all), the business of doing business has the potential to bring an enterprise undone. For instance, exchanging a business card using one hand rather than two can be seen as a sign of disrespect in some cultures. Who would necessarily know? With Australians increasingly undertaking business across the world and with Asian powerhouses such as Japan, Korea and China, navigating the behind-the-scenes landscape, as well as providing direct services and advice, has become all important. Business owners and operators need to focus on what they do best, so employing people who specialise in troubleshooting make-or-break sensitive legal, technical and cultural matters is a vital and strategic move. Sydney’s H & H Lawyers offers this official and unofficial role in its capacity as a firm on the path to being Australia’s biggest ‘‘Asian’’ law firm. H & H Lawyers’ services include commercial and corporate advisory, acquisitions, dispute resolution, employment law, corporate migration and intellectual property. “Our bilingual lawyers have been inundated with work representing multinational corporations and government agencies from Japan, Korea and China that want to expand their businesses into Australia,” says Principal Ken Hong. “We have also been very busy acting for local clients with Japanese, Korean or Chinese backgrounds, or that have transactions with their counterparts in those three countries. “Demand for our services has escalated, so we are rapidly expanding to meet the demand.’’ Fellow Principal Yukio Hayashi says a vital aspect of the firm’s work includes “bridging fundamental cultural differences”. “This cross-cultural dexterity is not necessarily part of our brief, but it’s what we offer as well, as it is so essential,’’ he says. “Our team not only speaks the languages, but also intimately understands the cultural nuances of Asia. This saves our clients so much time in getting straight to the actual issues and resolutions. Without the right knowledge of culture, a lot of key messages can be lost in translation, particularly legal concepts, leading to a frustrating experience for all. “We had one situation recently in which there was an investment in an Australian business by a Japanese company. There were excellent managers and staff in situ, but the incoming management from Japan had their way of doing things that did not rest well with the Australian team, and vice versa.” “This friction was no one’s fault, but we made it our job to navigate the cultural minefield. We were able to get each side to see things from the other’s perspective and that made all the difference.” Hong and Hayashi say that by going this extra mile, the law firm can resolve difficulties and help international-facing businesses to thrive. “The importance of Australia’s trade relationships with Korea, China and Japan need no further explanation,’’ says Hong. “They are our top three trading partners. We look forward to continuing with our work and contributing to Australia’s successful trade relationships with those three countries.” Says Hayashi: “Our firm is well placed and equipped to help clients have a more fruitful, efficient and enjoyable experience in doing business.’’
13 Jun 2019