The Seasonal Worker Programme offers employers in the agriculture sector and employers in selected locations in the accommodation sector access to a reliable, returning workforce when there is not enough local Australian labour to meet seasonal demand.

Strengthening Community Connections for Seasonal Workers

Participants in the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) will be provided with additional welfare support with The Salvation Army chosen, following a tender process, to deliver the $1 million Community Connections measure.

Over the next two years, The Salvation Army will provide additional welfare support to SWP workers and deliver Community Connections in locations where SWP workers reside and work across Australia.

As one of Australia's largest and most experienced community support providers, The Salvation Army will:

  • work collaboratively with locally based organisations including community groups, sporting, and Pacific Island diaspora to deliver events that promote cultural cohesion; and
  • work with relevant stakeholders such as Approved Employers, the department's Pacific Labour Mobility Officers and Country Liaison Officers, to ensure SWP workers continue to be supported.

Through their partnerships with Uniting Church Australia, Pacific Island Council QLD and Pacific Island Council SA, The Salvation Army will work to advance cultural understanding with the communities in which SWP workers are living and working and help to safeguard the welfare and wellbeing of SWP workers.  

Any questions or requests for further information related to the delivery of Community Connections should be directed to CommunityConnections@dese.gov.au

Media Release

Programme objectives

There are 2 main objectives for the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP):

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Seasonal Workers Programme_Programme Objectives

Information for employers

If you want to participate in the program, there are certain requirements you will need to meet. Learn about:

  • Eligibility
  • Countries you can recruit from
  • Recruitment process
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Harvest Trail Services_Employer responsibilities

Information for Approved Employers

A list of current Approved Employers can be found in the link below. Resources for Approved Employers include:

  • Guidelines
  • Privacy factsheet
  • Checklists
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Seasonal Workers Programme_Covid-19 changes

Information for workers

If you want to participate in the program, you will need to:

  • Check your eligibility 
  • Contact your Labour Sending Unit (LSU)
  • Have a valid visa
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Harvest - Relocation assistance

Pacific Labour Mobility Safeguarding the Welfare of Workers

On the 6 October 2020, the Pacific Labour Mobility Safeguarding the Welfare of Workers package was announced. Key features include:

  • Investing $9 million to support the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) and welfare of Pacific and Timorese workers.
  • Pacific Labour Mobility Officers will be based around Australia to check welfare, monitoring, compliance and accommodation.

COVID-19 changes

In response to COVID-19, on 4 April 2020, temporary changes to visa arrangements for the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) were announced. These would:

  • Allow Pacific workers under the SWP and the Pacific Labour Scheme to continue working in the agriculture sector until the crisis has passed.
  • Let workers with new visas remain in Australia and continue working for up to 12 months.
  • Continue the sponsorship arrangements between Pacific workers and their employers.

See the Minister’s media release.

Regional Pilot

The Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) Regional Pilot helps smaller farmers meet workforce shortages. It applies in:

  • Sunraysia (NSW/Victoria);
  • Goulburn/Murray (Victoria);
  • Riverina (NSW); and
  • Wimmera/Mallee (Victoria) – with effect from 1 January 2020

See the Regional Pilot factsheet for further information.

For Approved Employers in the SWP Regional Pilot, see SWP Pilot Guidance.

Worker Portability Pilot

With the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) – Worker Portability Pilot, Approved Employers can share seasonal workers. This applies to the regions:

  • Sunraysia (NSW/Victoria);
  • Goulburn/Murray (Victoria);
  • Riverina (NSW); and
  • Wimmera/Mallee (Victoria) – with effect from 1 January 2020

This Pilot will run till 30 June 2022.

See the SWP Portability Pilot - Information Sheet.
 

Pacific Labour Mobility Scheme

The Pacific Labour Mobility Scheme, complements the Seasonal Worker Programme.

It helps meet business needs across all sectors in rural and regional Australia.

See the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s website.

 

Contact

Email: seasonalworker@dese.gov.au.

Call the information line: +61 (02) 6240 5234 (9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday to Friday, Canberra time).

View temporary visa information on the Department of Home Affairs.