COVID-19 Response – International students

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, there has been an extraordinarily high demand for items such as toilet paper, tissues, hand sanitiser, rice and pasta in all the major supermarkets like Coles and Woolworths. Many shoppers are ‘losing their heads’ and fighting in the supermarket aisles over basic products. It’s not a pretty sight and a poor reflection on Western society. 

Australia is not short of food and we are certainly not short of toilet rolls! Our toilet rolls are mostly manufactured in Australia and there is a massive supply. The shortage is being caused by crazy people stripping the shelves bare and stockpiling products that they may never actually need, whilst depriving others, including the elderly and disabled from purchasing essential items that they actually do need. 

One of the big issues that the supermarkets are now facing is getting enough people to restock the supermarket shelves. In an attempt to help the supermarkets (which means helping all of us!), the Federal government is allowing international students to work more than the permitted 40 hours a fortnight if they are willing to work in the major supermarkets stocking shelves. What a great initiative! 

International students are permitted to work longer hours during the crisis to help ease the demand. Usually international students can work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight during term time.

Girl with yellow shirt holding white toilet paper roll

The Hon Alan Tudge MP made the following announcement last week …

Alan Tudge Twitter post on COVID-19 crisis and international students

“To keep up with this demand, supermarkets have told us they need to give extra hours to current staff to stock shelves and serve Australian customers. While many of these will be Australian workers, international students will also be able to increase their hours,” Mr Tudge said.

Other supermarkets are also allowed to register for this initiative with the Department of Home Affairs if they think that this will be of benefit to them.

“We will continue to listen to businesses as the coronavirus situation develops and may consider expanding these measures to assist other sectors if and when required. We will also consider providing flexibility with other temporary visas should the need arise.”

“This initiative will give international students more flexibility to work while studying and also allow employers to meet demand during a busy period.”

If you are concerned about your work rights; your visa status or want to extend your stay in Australia because of the COVID-19, call us today! +61 8 9429 8860. 

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