The Government has made changes to the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa program, which will help WHMs remain in Australia for longer, and assist communities to recover from recent devastating bushfires. WHMs can now count paid or volunteer work completed after 31 July 2019 (when they have assisted with bushfire recovery) as ‘specified work’ towards eligibility for a second or third WHM visa. Additionally, Working Holiday Makers (subclass 417 and subclass 462 visa holders) who assist bushfire recovery efforts can now do paid or unpaid work for up to 12 months, with the same employer or organisation, without requesting permission from the Department. In a statement, Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge said, “It means working holidaymakers can help rebuild homes, fences and farms, they can get onto properties and help with demolition, land clearing, and repairing dams, roads and railways.” “This recovery will be driven locally, by local workers and communities. But this will be a massive recovery effort and we want businesses and charitable organisations to have as many boots on the ground as they need.” “The new measures will mean working holidaymakers who come to Australia with money to spend, will help boost local economies and also spend money they earn in Australia, in the fire-affected towns where they work.” Build Your Capacity with the Ayers Group The bushfire recovery effort is underway but it’s going to take months and years to complete. If you’re hiring contractors as labourers for bushfire recovery work, the Ayers Group can help you negotiate and manage contractor relationships and obligations. Our customised payroll solution can also streamline your administration and provide efficiencies for your contractors and your business. Contact an expert from the Ayers Group today – together we can help your business grow.