Australian supermarkets now allow international students to work over 40 hours.

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IOE Update: International students can now work quite 40 hours in Australian supermarkets.

During the lockdown, international students working in supermarkets in Australia will not be subject to a 40-hour fortnightly cap as they would otherwise be. In a statement issued by Alex Hawke, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, the Morrison government stated that it had granted permission to supermarkets in states and territories subject to COVID-19 lockdowns to employ international students for more than the 40-hour per fortnight cap set by the federal government. This is to assist businesses to remain open and help supermarkets meet the high customer demand for critical goods. It is anticipated that this temporary measure will be in effect in the least affected supermarkets and associated distribution facilities in New South Wales and Victoria for the duration of their respective lockdown periods if any are in effect.

“Employees at supermarkets are unsung heroes in the fight against the pandemic, according to the CDC. They took the initiative to ensure that Australians have access to essential items, and they have continued to do so even during the pandemic’s darkest hours. “Hawke was able to express himself. This temporary measure ensures that supermarkets can continue to provide their critical services to the community while also providing essential workers with increased income flexibility while the country is in lockdown.

This decision follows an invitation for urgent relief by the supermarket sector, as many staff are subject to self-isolation orders. Previously, the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Border Force said they might take a versatile approach to student visa holders. This including those working beyond their usual work limitations if students are employed by aged and disability care service providers, agriculture and tourism and the hospitality sector.

International students said they were able to balance work and study despite having more flexibility.

The Department of Home Affairs notes that international students must still balance their study and work commitments, albeit more flexible work hours in specific sectors.

Students who work 40 hours per fortnight within the permitted sectors must maintain their course enrollment and ensure satisfactory course attendance and course progress. Those that cancel their registration and stop attending classes or fail to satisfy good course progress may breach their visa conditions, said the department.

“The COVID-19 Pandemic (subclass 408) visa will be available to you if you are currently employed or have a suggestion of employment in one of the industries listed above and have completed your course requirements. The only time you’ll be able to apply for this visa is 90 days before your student visa is due to expire. There is no obligation on your part to contact us if you are interested in working more than 40 hours per fortnight in one of the industries listed above,” according to the company.

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