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About AoifesMum

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  1. Hay is wonderful - we really wanted to catch Stephen Fry there this year. This sunshine is just fantastic, putting sun tan lotion on the kids a few weeks ago and I was transported back to Oz with the smell, very strange!
  2. Hi Quoll - you gave us great advice when we were contemplating the move, thank you! We are more than happy we gave it a go, we only anticipated staying the 4 years of the visa anyway, but came back after 3. The only thing really preventing us settling was family in the UK, but circumstances are different for everyone. We have a big, extended family and the sun and lifestyle just wasn't worth the sacrifice for us. But for others that will be different. Also, I was surprised at how much I missed the cultural side of life and the history the UK has to offer. Maybe this would not have been such an issue if we were living in Sydney or Melbourne, but Canberra is very, very new.
  3. We moved back as my dad was ill and has since died, plus we wanted to be closer to family in general. We loved Canberra though and made some wonderful friends, it was just ultimately too far from home for us. I think we are one of the few families to move back - not sure of the statistics but,from personal experience, it seemed that most Brits chose to stay. Good luck if you're contemplating a move.
  4. I know. The weather has been lovely funnily enough. I email Christine lots - say hi from us! Missing Oz loads but happy to be home. Are you back instructing?
  5. Hi Faye - it's Helen - we've moved back to Cardiff - we used to go to aquatots last year (you taught Liam) How are you!?
  6. Hi Clair! Where in the Uk are you from? We're near you - have lived in Canberra since June 2011. We came over for my partners job. Inbox me if you'd like to meet up - I have two children, one school age and one 2 years old. I don't really attend playgroups with my youngest but I'm always out with him (soft play, swimming etc).
  7. AoifesMum

    Any news on LAFHA

    Hi Danny. I think it's a pretty open and closed case - I don't think the government are going to change anything in the draft legislation, nor will they extend the transitionary period to 457 visa holders. I think the latest was that the Treasury had confirmed that the bill will be presented as originally drafted (so much for all those submissions, the unfair transitionary clauses and possible illegal contravention of various tax agreements) and HR departments will be ceasing LAFHA arrangements from 1st July for employees, even if the legislation is not passed as, if they don't, it's likely the law will be applied retrospectively. This is just info I've gleaned from various blogs and sites. You've probably looked at Facebook - You're Having A LAFHA - it's been a great source of info. Unfortunately it seems that the government had no intention of listening to anything anyone had to say and, in their pursuit of short-term political vote gathering and budget balancing, they're content to see skilled migrants leave the country or not consider coming at all. I won't even go into the impact this has had on families already here as I'm boring myself now. Hope you're not too badly affected by the whole farcical debacle.
  8. AoifesMum

    Employers responsbilities under 457 visa rules

    Don't get me wrong - if you are single or in a couple then yes, I completely agree - this is a fantastic country with huge opportunities and is great in that it doesn't have such a strict class system as can still be evident in the UK. However, NOT with children on a 457 visa is my point. You cannot get child care for less than $100 per day where I live, I know I've contacted pretty much all the providers (actually, the cheapet was $95) That's for ONE CHILD. If you have three, that's $6,000 per month. Now, honestly, who could afford that? $72,000 per year for child care (possibly they might offer a discount for all three, I'm not sure) - any jobs offering that after tax? Not many (even after schools clubs cost around $75 from 3pm to 6pm. This country is not feasable to live in with very young children unless you earn a big salary. Australian's manage because they get child care for half price. Even with one child your annual bill would be $24,000. For single people, granted, it's a great opportunity.
  9. AoifesMum

    Employers responsbilities under 457 visa rules

    But the employer can't pay an additional amount to compensate for the higher costs for 457-ers as they have to be seen to be paying equivalent wages to Australian and non-Australian employees. At the end of the day, the government can pretty much do what they want and have whatever policies they feel will benefit the country, I just dislike the way this has been handled and the time scale we've had to deal with it. If Australian employers offer work to non-residents then, if everything is made clear (with the LAFHA gone) then the employee has the option of accepting or not. If it works out to be a bum deal, they don't come here. However, in the case of current 457 holders (especially those with children under school age) the LAFHA was offered as part of the salary package and has been taken away with pretty much no notice - those people aren't in a position to make up this loss of income and were often not told of any of this before they came over (and signed rental agreements, etc which they now can't get out of). This whole mess could have been better dealt with if the Treasury had simply allowed all claimants 12 months to decide whether they could afford to stay in Australia or had to move back home. New claimants are now fully aware of their net pay and can budget accordingly and make an informed decision based upon whether they can afford to live here or not. In our experience, if you're on less than 100K (either jointly or sole income) then I would think again about making the move. If you have children requiring day care then you need to be earning big money to afford the $2,000 per month per child and not be paying to work.
  10. AoifesMum

    Employers responsbilities under 457 visa rules

    Maybe he was referring to the employers, but hey-ho. It is what it is. My point is that we are not looking for a champaigne lifestyle or to get money for nothing. To be honest, I think the allowance should have been abolished BUT there should be something in place to assist people who made honest decisions to come to Australia based upon figures quoted by their employer, such as the transitionary period residents get. I think it's very unfair to do this at such short notice. Another point - if I didn't have very young children (which means I'm unable to work myself) I'd simply get a job. Whatever, this debate will go on and on, I just think it unfair that it's been passed so quickly and with such little notice (the Treasury say we have known about this since November last year but I don't know of any employers who made any provision for their staff prior to the May budget announcement).
  11. AoifesMum

    Employers responsbilities under 457 visa rules

    Thank you very much for your calculations and to Joe Bloggs for pointing out that we are 'rorting' the system (with your accurate edit of the previous post). That was our intention when we came to Australia, obviously. We took complete advantage of the UK system for many years (hmmmm, don't think we ever claimed anything apart from child benefit and worked for three quid an hour at one point to avoid having to go on the dole) but we are, indeed, 'rorters' who knew, in depth, the Australian tax system before we came over, as I'm sure all expats do. We searched the world for a country we could exploit as we are freeloaders and would happily take without giving, have done all our lives. The actual truth of the matter was that we were legally offered a job which included LAFHA and did our sums based upon that. Ok, it's going and it may not have been fair but I resent the implication that we came over here to exploit anything at all, we did not and I find it offensive to us (and many others who were offered LAFHA and claimed it quite legitimately) to say we were 'rorting' the system. I'll certainly pass that on to my partner who works full time and puts in a good 3 hours unpaid overtime each evening, including weekends. Cheers.
  12. AoifesMum

    Employers responsbilities under 457 visa rules

    Thanks everyone, I do appreciate your posts as I could very well have it incorrectly worked out. BUT, I know how much he makes net per month at the moment and when I worked out his tax on his gross pay after LAFHA goes, the difference was indeed $2,000. These figures may indeed be wrong as we are yet to hear back from his employers with his net figure after July 1st, so we're not making any decisions yet. Have I calculated that correctly then? Following the withdrawal of LAFHA his pay will revert to gross pay per annum and his net pay can be calculated using the on-line calculator (for example, something like 25K on a 100K salary will be taken as tax). Maths not being my strong point and all.
  13. AoifesMum

    Employers responsbilities under 457 visa rules

    It's not a couple of thousand a year, it's a couple of thousand a month (around 30K per year I think). It's almost a third of my partner's take home pay and I am unable to work to make up for it as we aren't entitled to child care assistance (unless someone wants to pay me upwards of 80K a year for a social work role - I think not). I already work a number of hours from home. We just about make ends meet at the moment and have a significantly worse standard of living, but thought we'd make the most of the experience of Oz (which we all love). We won't be able to afford basic living costs with a third reduction, could you?
  14. AoifesMum

    Employers responsbilities under 457 visa rules

    Thanks! I didn't mean 'threaten' in a malicious way - honest! To be fair, they have been ok so far (especially his immediate boss). What I meant was that I need to know what our rights are concerning all this if they do refuse to help at all. I really don't want to have to resort to quoting legalities - and if they'd just cover the flight costs that would be great - but we're in a real predicament and need to get home fast. Thanks for the advice.
  15. Hello all! Due to the loss of the LAFHA (which I can't physically bring myself to write about any longer) it looks like our best bet is for me to return home to the Uk with the children and my partner to apply for work and follow on later. I know from previous threads and postings that the employer, under 457 visa sponsorship rules, is legally obliged to pay our fares back to the UK. Does anyone know the answers to the following? 1. Would they be obliged to pay our fares (me and the children) and then my partner's fare at a later date (we are moving as a sole consequence of the LAFHA changes) 2. Do they have to pay for shipment of goods? 3. Can they request we pay and they reimburse us or do they have to pay upfront? 4. If they refuse, who do I report this to, immigration? Not sure how the system works. 5. Are they responsbile for assisting my partner to relocate to a smaller apartment? ie. bonds, utilities etc. I don't mean this post to sound like we wish to bleed the company dry, though I suspect it sounds that way. The difficulty we have is that we can afford none of the above due to the loss of a quarter take-home pay (hence why we are going home). I need to find out where we stand legally and what to threaten them with if they don't honour their obligations as they have already refused to pay the flights and I know this contravenes their 457 obligations. I need to meet with them having prepared a worse-case-scenario list of what we are entitled to. Financially, following this whole hideous mess, we can't afford not to. Any help appreciated! Can't wait to get home.....