QLD Which Employment Contract for the Same Job is Binding?

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17 July 2015
Dear Legal forum,
I am kindly requesting your help.

I am a recruitment consultant currently employed with a small business in Brisbane, QLD.

I signed up on a 457 visa (4 year sponsorship), with the condition that the company would then sponsor me for a 186 ENS (Employer Nominated Sponsorship). The issue is that having passed through my probation (I am on my 7th month) we do not see eye to eye and the boss is trying to make me leave. First my commission was cut and now he is putting pressure on any of my colleagues who talk to me to ignore me etc.

The initial employment contract signed declared that I would pay for the full cost of the permanent residency visa if I left inside of 12 months. However, after joining I was issued with a new employment contract as the business changed into a Ltd company (new name etc) with no mention of the permanent residency deal. Is the new or the old employment contract binding?

When the new employment contract was issued, the boss said it was fake employment contract "for immigration purposes" and didn't give me a copy. I have since managed to obtain a copy.

I am also worried that if I leave the employer in question will he (can he?) withhold my final pay to 'pay my debt'.



Well-Known Member
10 February 2015
Hi James,

A few questions:
  • Is your second contract essentially the same as your first employment contract?
  • Apart from the fact that the second contract doesn't contain the clause about your visa payment, what other differences are there? Any changes in job title or duties?
  • What is your actual job duties? Are they reflected more accurately in the first or second contract?
Also, it sounds as though your supervisor may be engaging in bullying behaviour. Is there an HR department or someone you can talk to about the behaviour of this person? If not, you can either contact the relevant workers' union or call the Fair Work Ombudsma and talk to them about making an application to the Fair Work Commission for an order to stop the bullying. I am assuming that you wouldn't be in an ideal situation visa wise if you were pressured into leaving your current workplace suddenly so you may want to look into ways that you can stay at work and have the bullying stop.

Call us - Fair Work Ombudsman