The purpose of this factsheet is to provide information to employers of, and Timor-Leste Seasonal Workers in Australia. It aims to assist with employer and worker decision making as COVID-19 rapidly changes border and immigration rules for Australia and Timor-Leste.
Initially SEFOPE would like to communicate with employers who will be the central information point for their growers and workers.
For workers who want to travel home to Timor-Leste
What we know: (as of 25 March 2020)
Impacts of this on Employers and Workers:
SEFOPE requests the following;
In preparation for a conversation with the Timor-Leste Labour Mobility Coordinator- Cathy Molnar, please answer the following questions:
a. Which jobs (groups) and workers are due to end contract in next 3 months?
b. Of these which (groups or individuals) would like to return to Timor-Leste?
c. Which (groups or individuals) would like to stay in Australia if more work is available?
d. Do you have additional work available for Timor-Leste or other workers?
e. Roughly how many jobs/ workers will you need over the next 3 to 6 months if no additional workers are able to come from overseas?
2. SEFOPE Labour Mobility Coordinator will contact you with a time to discuss your workers
Cathy Molnar, Labour Mobility Program Coordinator (Labour Attache Team) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cathy will be the key SEFOPE contact supporting workers in Australia during this challenging time.
3. Ask your workers to stay informed through the SEFOPE website and live chat
Check this website for information- http://dnee.sefope.gov.tl/ and ask SEFOPE questions through the
‘live chat’ function. Or email email@example.com
What happens if workers decide to return to Timor-Leste?
Rules on transiting through Darwin and the availability of Air North flights are changing daily, so please email: firstname.lastname@example.org to find out the latest information
Then, all people arriving in Timor-Leste, including Labour Mobility workers, must quarantine for 14 days from when they arrive back in Timor-Leste
Immigration Police and Ministry of Health officials will transport workers via bus from Dili airport to the quarantine facility. No contact with families or other people is permitted on arrival
Workers cannot leave quarantine for 14 days. Ministry of Health workers monitor the health of each person in quarantine and clearance to leave at the end of 14 days will be provided by the Government of Timor-Leste. Anyone who breaches quarantine may be fined and arrested by the police.
Workers need to understand that quarantine is a precaution to stop the spread of the virus in Timor- Leste, it does not mean they have COVID-19.
At the end of quarantine and once permission is obtained, Ministry of Health Officials will contact families to pick-up workers
There is currently misunderstanding, confusion and fear in Timor-Leste communities and potential attacks on quarantine facilities can occur. Workers need to be aware of the following:
Annex 1 | DFAT Update to Employers and Stakeholders- 25 March
Today we would like to share with you measures that are being put in place for workers whose visas are due to expire imminently, are unable to travel home and wish to continue working. For these workers, a bridging visa will be available and in place until more substantive changes come into effect, expected within the fortnight. More information will be provided on this in due course.
Workers in this position can be assured that they will face no adverse consequences from short periods in Australia without a visa. If you have any questions or you would like to bring specific cases to the Department’s attention please contact email@example.com.
Should workers fall ill, they will receive the same medical treatment through their health insurance as Australians would receive under Medicare
The welfare of Pacific workers in Australia is at the forefront of all our contingency planning. This information about visa processes is being provided to Approved Employers and we will be supporting them to implement these measures where required. Approved Employers are also receiving regular information on the latest health and travel advice to share with their workers. The Pacific Labour Facility is producing regular updates and social media video messages to support workers and employers during this time. We are encouraging workers to follow the Facebook page to stay up-to- date and share the information being posted. A range of information resources are also available on our website.
There are a small number of PLS visa holders who do not hold the full 3 year validity. For those PLS workers, a further PLS visa can be applied for onshore up to the total maximum stay in Australia of 3 years where the worker will continue to work for their current employer. Those employers who are unable to offer their workers, whose visas are to expire, an extended contract and therefore cannot sponsor their workers for a further PLS visa onshore, have been asked to contact the PLF as early as possible to arrange possible redeployment to another approved employer.
DFAT Labour Mobility Team
Please find more detalis in file below: