Managing expat employees in Australia

 Jun 13, 2024 | 3 Min Read

Table of Contents

Australia offers expats a thriving job market, multicultural cities, and sunshine almost all year round. Its strong economic position makes Australia a prime destination for international business expansion and hiring opportunities. Despite the high number of expats living and working in Australia, the country has strict immigration and employment laws. This guide explores what hiring managers need to know when hiring and managing expat employees in Australia.

Expats entering Australia are required to have a work visa. The type of visa required will depend on the length of the assignment. As an employer, you can sponsor your employee under The employer nomination scheme. You will need to submit your employee nomination and sponsorship forms before the visa application can proceed. Australia also offers visas for skilled professionals, suitable for experienced expats in specific high-demand industries.


The process of acquiring a visa can be lengthy, so it is advisable to start the paperwork early. Australia has a number of visa types and work permits under the nomination program, to learn more about these options, visit The Australian Home Affairs website.

Australia’s employment laws include several pieces of legislation. All employees are entitled to receive the minimum wage, paid leave, a pension fund and a safe workplace. 


The Worker’s Safety Act provides workers with rights to compensation and medical allowances if they become injured at work. This law also protects employees against discrimination, bullying or harassment at work.  

Under Australian National Employment Standards law all companies are required to provide their employees with certain mandatory benefits. Many companies also offer additional benefits to retain top talent. This typically includes anything from additional paid time off, long-term disability insurance, life insurance, health insurance, child care subsidies and Employee Assistance Programmes
The salaries in Australia are higher than in many other countries, which is reflected in the high cost of living. Its main cities Melbourne and Sydney regularly feature in Mercer’s World’s Most Expensive Cities reports. Salaries vary by industry, with healthcare, mining, finance and construction workers typically earning higher wages. Location also significantly affects salary differences. The average salary in Australia is slightly lower than that in the US or UK but is growing annually. 
Healthcare in Australia has a combination of both public and private options. Expats can avail of the Australian public system for subsidised services. But to have access to Medicare the universal health system they will need to be either a permanent resident or an expat from a country with a reciprocal health care agreement in place. Reports show that regardless of the free healthcare more than half of Australia's residents have some form of health insurance policy in place. The government offers tax incentives for private policyholders to reduce the pressure on the public system. With the challenges in accessing comprehensive healthcare, it is advisable to have health insurance in place for your employees before they move. 
At Allianz Partners, we provide international health insurance and support services for global businesses. Helping you to ensure your expat employees' physical and mental needs are met when on assignments. For more information, speak to us today.