COVID-19: Extended stay for seasonal workers

FIJIANS presently in Australia under the Seasonal Worker Program can stay there for up to 12 months.

This, according to a statement issued by the Australian government.

The Australian Government said all Pacific Islanders in Australia under the Pacific Labour Scheme and SWP whose visas were due to expire, would remain in Australia.

It said all Pacific Islanders and Timorese workers had the appropriate insurance and would be cared for in the event they become unwell.

The Australian government said there were measures in place that would enable Pacific workers to support themselves and continue to make a critical contribution to Australia’s agriculture sector and food security.

Australia said the welfare of Pacific workers was a priority for government and they were now working with employers to ensure they were supported through the COVID-19 crisis, particularly those workers who were not able to return home.

“The flow of remittances to Pacific communities makes an important contribution to their ability to withstand the economic impacts of COVID-19,” the Australian government statement said.

“Pacific and Timorese workers are highly valued by agricultural employers who have made it clear they want Pacific workers to be able to remain here and continue working.

“Current travel restrictions and the cessation of commercial flights have left some workers unable to return home, while also stopping new cohorts of Pacific workers from travelling to Australia.”