Worker Issues Update – 21 October, 2021

21 October, 2021


New PLS/SWP Info Sessions
Reminder PLS/SWP changes over Xmas
QLD border restrictions


New dates for PLS/SWP information sessions

New dates have been set for two recently postponed information sessions in North Queensland organised to update industry on the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) and the Seasonal Workforce Program (SWP).

The workshops – co-ordinated by DAF – will provide an opportunity for people involved with the programs, or wanting to be, to hear latest developments and ask questions.

The sessions will now be held:

·       Wednesday, 24 November, 9.45am-2.30pm, at the South Johnstone Research Station. You will need to register again to secure your seat.

·       Thursday, 25 November, 9.45am – 2.30pm, at the Mareeba Leagues Club. You will need to register again to secure your seat.

Key speakers will be present from DAF, Queensland Health, Department of Education Skills and Employment and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

There will be limits on numbers at both venues, so please reserve your seat as soon as possible by clicking on the links above.

Reminder of PLS/SWP changes over the Christmas period

On Monday 18 October, the Queensland Government released the Roadmap to Easing Restrictions. Essentially, the Roadmap flags a final stage of quarantine-free travel into and around the state for double vaccinated people that can demonstrate negative tests for COVID-19, 72 hours before arrival.

With regard to quarantine requirements for workers under the PLS and SWP entering Queensland, DAF has advised that there is no change to current arrangements at present.

DAF believes the current arrangements will be in place until at least December 2021, and possibly beyond. However, as the COVID-19 space is constantly evolving, they say they will advise industry if the situation changes.

The Department has also reminded that in-coming flights and quarantine will be suspended over the Christmas period.

Of note:

  • Queensland will have a no flight period for on-farm and regional quarantine from 6 December 2021. This means the required quarantine period will end by 20 December 2021 and in-line with the Pacific Labour Facility (PLF) shut down period.
  • Queensland’s first SWP/PLS flight post-Christmas/New Year will begin after 11 January 2022.

Recruitment proposals and plans between October to 6 December 2021

For those Approved Employers (AEs) wanting workers to arrive in Australia between October and 6 December 2021:

  • DAF advises companies to submit their recruitment proposals as soon as possible
  • Submit recruitment plans at least 11 weeks before desired arrival date
  • State and territory Chief Health Officer (CHO) approvals and recruitment plans must be approved at least 5 weeks before planned arrival date.

Recruitment proposals and plans arriving after 11 January 2022

For those AEs wanting workers to arrive in Australia after 11 January 2022, the following timelines will apply:

  • have submitted recruitment proposals on or before 13 October 2021
  • submit recruitment plans (for approved proposals) by 10 November 2021.

Note that the Chief Health Officer (CHO) and Programme (SWP/PLS) approval must be received by 17 November 2021 to allow adequate time for the LSUs to recruit and prepare workers for this period. DAF has advised that there will be no exceptions to these requirements. 

If you have any enquiries about the Queensland PLS/SWP programme, please contact us on or 13 25 23.

Queensland’s easing of restrictions

As mentioned above, under the Queensland Government’s COVID Vaccination Plan announced on Monday (Oct 18), greater freedoms will be given to those who are fully vaccinated, including being able to cross the border from interstate hotspots by Christmas.

This could potentially assist with getting workers into the state over the Christmas period and beyond.

For further details go to the Premiers media release here

The ABGC advocates for banana growers and no one else – giving members a united and more powerful voice for industry.  

Contact Leanne Erakovic, the ABGC’s advocate on workforce issues, if you have any further questions.