Sponsoring Foreign Hospitality Or Restaurant Staff? You’d Better Read This!

09 Oct


Forget only paying the TSMIT* wages of $53,900 to your Chefs, Cooks and  Restaurant Managers!


You are now bound to pay rates that accord with the new Restaurant Industry Award 2020 – i.e. annualised** salary rates.


The new Restaurant Industry Award 2020 specifies a minimum annual salary for a cook for example, Australia wide is now $57,044


Item 20.3 under the award states “an annualised salary must be at least 125% of the minimum weekly rate that would otherwise be applicable under Table 3 – Minimum rates over the year

On the basis of the annualised salary provisions, an Australian minimum wage a Cook grade 3 (trade person) must receive is $1,097 gross per week ($877.60 × 125%).

This results in an equivalent of $57,044 gross per annum.

Individual annualised** Award rates also apply to Chefs and Restaurant Managers.


Here are the minimum salaries for hospitality occupations under the award:


Chef (Level 6 Cook Grade 5): $62,244.00
Cook (Level 4 Cook Grade 3): $57,044.00
Cook (Level 5 Cook Grade 4): $60,619.00
Manager (Managerial Staff – Hotel): $62,354.50


This means that you must pay your workers who are employed under the categories above at least the wages listed above.


Australian Border Force officers are targeting approved business sponsors who are hospitality employers –  and they are monitoring these award rates.

Any approved business sponsor employer who is not paying their relevant workers the minimum amount above will be found to be in breach of their sponsorship obligations, which may result in serious sanctions, including business sponsorship cancellation and even fines and prosecutions.

Fairwork officers have the same powers as the Australian Border Force when it comes to monitoring your foreign employees’ working conditions.


Visa nominations not meeting the annualised salary requirements will likely be refused.

If a wage below the Award rate is declared in a nomination, employment contract, or labour market testing advertisements (where applicable), for any of the visa classes requiring employer nomination (e.g Subclass 482 TSS Visas, Subclass 186 Employer Nominated Visas, Regional Sponsored Subclass 494 Visa), the nomination will most likely be refused together with the associated visa application, unless the annualised salary clauses do not apply to your employee or business.

This could be an expensive episode for any employer, as they will not only lose application fees but also the Skilling Australian Fund contributions which are quite substantial.

It will also be a heartbreaking episode for the visa applicant who may not be able to apply for any other visa whilst in Australia – and you may lose valuable and precious employees.


Need help working out what’s best for you as an employer needing to employ overseas staff?
Talk to us today – we will help you.
Call  us on +61 3 9573 5200.


I have been dealing with Michelle at AHWC for over a year now for all our company Sponsorship and PR visas. She has been outstanding in the advice and information given from start to finish. For busy professionals or individuals she breaks down the process to simple steps to follow, which is efficient for me and value for money. Highly recommend
Sean Donoghue | October 2020


*Check out the Department of Home Affairs information on TSMIT 

**An annualised salary is a salary arrangement under which employees take home a pre-determined and generally unvarying weekly proportion of a fixed annual salary. It is calculated by projecting existing weekly wage rates, penalty payments and allowances set out in awards on an annual basis. (Business Australia)

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