Since 2015, volunteer and unpaid jobs (Woofing, HelpX) are no more eligible to get the Second Year Visa and it has become more difficult to calculate the 88 days (3 months) of Regional Work.
To get a Second Year Visa, you need to be sure that one day of work will count toward the visa. Until April 2018, the calculation was different if you worked for different employers or 3 months continuously with the same employer.
But since April 2018, the Department of Immigration changed the rules again: your days off now counts toward the 3 months of Regional Work, as long as you work the normal number of hours per day and per week that is considered standard practice in the industry and role in which you are employed.
'Three months' of specified work means a period equivalent to three 'calendar' months, which is taken to be a minimum period of 88 calendar days, including weekends or equivalent rest days during your period of employment.
To meet the three months specified work requirement you must actually work for the same number of days that a full-time employee would normally work in a three month (88 calendar day) period. You can do this in a variety of ways, for example:
- working five days a week for a continuous period of three calendar months, including on a piecework rate agreement; or
- working less than five days a week over a period longer than three calendar months, including on a piecework rate agreement;
- working multiple short periods of work in any combination of full time, part time or piecework rate, which add up to the equivalent of five days a week over three calendar months.
You do not need to do your three months' specified work all in one go, or all with one employer. You are free to spread the work over the period of your stay in Australia. You can also work for longer than the required minimum of three months.
You cannot complete your specified work requirement in a total period less than three calendar months.
Hours of work per day
You should agree with your employer the number of working hours, before you start work.
One single day of work is considered to be the normal number of hours per day (or per shift) that is considered standard practice in the industry and role in which you are employed.
Note: If you are working on a piecework rate the number of hours can depend on the weather and ripening of crops.
Note: If you are working on an Award you should check your conditions of employment, including rostering, overtime, and penalty rates. You can find your award on the Fair Work Ombudsman website
You cannot count a long day of work as more than one day of specified work. For example, if the industry's standard day is five hours long, working a 10 hour day does not count as two days of specified work.
Australian public holidays and sick days
Australian public holidays and sick days (or equivalent workers compensation leave days) can be counted as a day of specified work if you are paid for that day.
Public Holiday or leave days which are not paid cannot be included in your specified work total.
Severe or seasonal weather
You cannot include any unpaid days where you did not work due to severe or seasonal weather towards your total period of three months of specified work.
You should plan to complete your specified work early in your stay, as no exception will be made for failure to complete the three months specified work because of severe weather – or any other reason.
Variable shift work arrangements which are standard practice in the industry can be counted towards specified work.
For example, if your full time paid employment contract involves two weeks rostered on for every day and then two weeks rostered off as rest days, provided this is standard practice in the industry, and you are paid for this whole period, then all four weeks (28 days) can be counted towards the three month work requirement. Be sure to keep a copy of your employment contract.
For more information you can read the information provided by the Australian Governement