Saturday, 17 July 2021
Media release

Increased flexibility for international students to support supermarkets during lockdowns

​​​Today the Morrison Government has announced that supermarkets in States and Territories subject to COVID-19 lockdowns will be able to employ international students in excess of the 40 hours per fortnight cap that normally applies, helping those businesses to remain open to provide their essential services to the community.

​This temporary measure will allow international students to work more than 40 hours per fortnight in all New South Wales and Victorian supermarkets and associated distribution facilities for the duration of their respective lockdown periods.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alex Hawke said these temporary arrangements would help supermarkets meet the high customer demand for critical goods during lockdowns.

“Supermarket workers have been unsung heroes of the pandemic. They stepped up to ensure Australians have access to essential items, and they have kept doing so during the pandemic’s darkest days,” Minister Hawke said.

“This temporary measure ensures that supermarkets can continue to provide their critical services to the community and it provides essential workers themselves with added income flexibility during lockdowns,” he said.

This decision follows a request for urgent relief by the supermarket sector, as many staff are subject to self-isolation orders.​