Approved Employer application form

About the Pacific Labour Scheme

The Pacific Labour Scheme (the Scheme) offers eligible Australian employers access to workers from participating Pacific island countries who have been able to demonstrate that they cannot source suitable Australian labour. Workers under the Pacific Labour Scheme can be employed in Australia for up to three (3) years.

Palladium has been contracted by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to provide a range of services to support employers, labour sending countries and workers to engage with the Scheme. The Pacific Labour Facility (PLF) commenced supporting the Scheme in late 2018.

DFAT has introduced a screening process to ensure Australian employers meet the Government criteria for participation in the Scheme. This application form is the first step in the process. Other steps will include a site visit to your business premises, a financial assessment and signing the Deed of Agreement, which outlines the responsibilities of all parties. The Department of Home Affairs and the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) will also undertake necessary integrity checks. Employers under the Scheme will also be required to become a Temporary Activities Sponsor with the Department of Home Affairs.

DFAT supports the operation of the Scheme in partnership with other Australian Government departments and Pacific island countries’ Government agencies. Australian Government agencies include the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE), the Department of Home Affairs and the FWO.


Australian employers interested in becoming an Approved Employer under the Scheme are required to complete all parts of the application form below. Applicants are requested to provide detailed answers to the questions asked on the application form.

This information will assist us to determine your eligibility to participate in the Scheme. To ensure timely processing of your application, please provide complete and accurate information and respond to questions fully and truthfully at the time of submission.

Should you require further information please contact:

What is a Pacific Labour Scheme Approved Employer?

A Pacific Labour Scheme Approved Employer is an Australian Entity that has:

a) submitted an application to become an employer of workers under the Scheme;

b) had their application assessed and approved by DFAT; and

c) signed a Deed of Agreement with the Government of Australia, represented by DFAT, to participate in the Scheme.

An employer cannot recruit or commence recruitment under the Scheme until they have met all of the above conditions.

Application process

To participate in the Scheme an Entity must complete this application form online and submit it, or download a pdf version of the application form, fill it out and submit it (with the required documents) to

Eligibility criteria

To become an Approved Employer under the Scheme, an Entity must demonstrate that it:

1. Is an eligible business registered and operating in Australia, has an Australian Business Number (ABN), and is in a sound financial position.

Individuals, sole traders, unincorporated entities and family trusts are not eligible businesses for the purposes of the Scheme.

Entities who operate on a contractor business model may be eligible if they have five (5) years of continuous operation and a history of compliance with workplace relations and immigration laws.

2. Has a history of compliance with Australian workplace relations, workplace health and safety legislation, and other relevant laws such as the Migration Act. It must also be demonstrated that:

The directors or partners or trustees have a history of compliance with the above laws, and where there has been non-compliance this is disclosed.

3. Is based in rural or regional Australia.

The definition of rural and regional Australia may be amended by the Australian Government from time to time. Generally, it excludes:

  • NSW: Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong
  • QLD: the greater Brisbane area and the Gold Coast
  • VIC: the Melbourne metropolitan area
  • WA: the Perth metropolitan area.

The following postcodes are currently considered part of rural and regional Australia:


Australian Capital Territory All postcodes in the Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales (excluding Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong) 2250 to 2251, 2256 to 2263, 2311 to 2312, 2328 to 2411, 2415, 2420 to 2490, 2536 to 2551, 2575 to 2594, 2618 to 2739, 2787 to 2898
Norfolk Island All postcodes in Norfolk Island
Northern Territory All postcodes in the Northern Territory
Queensland 4124 to 4125, 4133, 4211, 4270 to 4272, 4275, 4280, 4285, 4287, 4307 to 4499, 4515, 4517 to 4519, 4522 to 4899
South Australia All postcodes in South Australia
Tasmania All postcodes in Tasmania
Victoria (excluding the Melbourne metropolitan area) 3211 to 3334, 3340 to 3424, 3430 to 3649, 3658 to 3749, 3753, 3756, 3758, 3762, 3764, 3778 to 3781, 3783, 3797, 3799, 3816 to 3909, 3921 to 3925, 3945 to 3974, 3979, 3981 to 3996
Western Australia (excluding the Perth metropolitan area) 6041 to 6044, 6083 to 6084, 6121 to 6126, 6200 to 6799

4. Understands and will comply with the requirements of an Approved Employer and will:

  • Demonstrate their commitment to offer positions to Australian job seekers first, by testing the local labour market, before seeking to access workers through the Scheme;
  • Provide employment to workers for a minimum period of 12 months (and up to 3 years);
  • Provide workers with a minimum average of 30 hours of work per week over each 12 month period of employment;
  • Monitor the progress, placement and well-being of workers in relation to their employment on a regular basis;
  • Facilitate access to appropriate clothing for workers to undertake their duties in the workplace (for example, Personal Protective Equipment);
  • Comply with the requirements of relevant Awards and/or employment agreements, including minimum remuneration, conditions and dispute resolution processes;
  • Only recoup certain expenses from workers’ wages and ensure that any deductions are reasonable and are allowable under the Deed of Agreement and workplace relations law;
  • Only recruit workers through the pathways agreed to by the Australian Government and partner country governments;
  • Enter into a Deed of Agreement with the Australian Government which will govern its participation in the Scheme; and
  • Provide the reports to the Australian Government as set out in the Deed of Agreement.


Applicant business details