Employing Working Holiday Makers in Australia

Working holiday makers (WHM) are important to Australia’s economy. They are an essential source of labour especially in industries that rely on seasonal employment. Australia employs approximately 100,000 working holiday makers each year.


Employing working holiday makers is beneficial to employers and relatively easy to do. Working Holiday Maker Visa holders don’t need to be sponsored, occupation lists don’t apply, and they can work full time anywhere in Australia.


Working holiday makers are temporary visitors to Australia. The Working Holiday Maker Visa Program allows adults to have a 12-month holiday while undertaking short-term work or study. WHM visa holders are able to access up to three Working Holiday Maker Visas, provided they meet age requirements and undertake some specified regional work.

Working holiday makers can work in any occupation or industry in Australia, generally for up to six months with one employer.


Employer Obligations

Employers of WHM visas must meet all obligations under Australian workplace laws including paying at least minimum wage and providing workers with a safe and healthy working environment.


When employing working holiday makers, employers must:

  • Ensure the Working Holiday Maker visa holder has a valid visa with the right to work in Australia
  • Register as an employer of working holiday makers. To register as an employer of working holiday makers, employers must first be registered for PAYG withholding.
  • Keep track of the employee commencement date to ensure they don’t exceed the six-month work limit with the employer (exceptions apply where the employee works for the same employer but at an alternate location)
  • Comply with tax obligations such as deducting tax from the employee’s wages (employees must have a tax file number) and paying it on their behalf to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
  • Pay the employee superannuation the same as any other Australian employee. Working holiday makers can apply to have this superannuation paid back to them as a ‘departing Australia superannuation payment’ when they leave Australia.


If an employer fails to comply with visa requirements and conditions of their employees, they may be penalised. Penalties include warnings, infringement notices, civil penalties and in some cases criminal proceedings for repeat offenders and employers guilty of foreign worker exploitation.


More Information About the Working Holiday Maker Visa Program

The Working Holiday Maker Visa Program includes over 40 countries. In order for an individual to be eligible for a Working Holiday Maker Visa they must meet the following basic eligibility requirements:


  • Be 18 to 30 years of age (or 35 years old for some countries)
  • Have a passport from an eligible country or jurisdiction
  • Must not be accompanied by dependent children
  • Meet the health and character requirements


For more information about employing working holiday makers or the Working Holiday Visa Program, contact the experienced team of registered migration agents at Visa Solutions Australia. Book a consultation.