As Australian supermarkets face increased demand for essential items, the Department of Home Affairs has said it will ‘temporarily allow international students to work more hours to help keep the shelves stocked’. International students in Australia on a valid student visa can work for up to 20 hours per week while school is in session, and there is no limit on the number of hours an international student can work during recognized school vacations.
It is important to note that only existing employees who are employed at major supermarkets including Coles and Woolworths are allowed to use the scheme.
As demands for tems like toilet paper, medicines, nappies, baby formula, milk powder has surged since the outbreak of COVID-19, international students currently employed at major supermarkets will be able to extend their working hours to help meet this high demand.
Hinting on the possibility of the scheme being extended to other sectors, Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge said “the changes are short term and will be reviewed regularly to ensure they are working and that they are still required”.