Seasonal Worker Programme

Seasonal Worker Program logo

The Seasonal Worker Programme contributes to the economic development of nine participating Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste, by providing access to work opportunities in the Australian agriculture sector, accommodation sector in selected locations and tourism sector (the Northern Australia tourism pilot).

Budget 2019-20

On 2 April 2019, the Australian Government announced a new measure in the 2019-20 Budget to help smaller farmers address agricultural workforce shortages as part of the Seasonal Worker Programme. A 12‑month pilot will be introduced from 1 May 2019, in up to three regions. Selected labour hire employers will link smaller farms with seasonal workers to meet harvest requirements. Regional Coordinators from the Department of Jobs and Small Business and inspectors from the Fair Work Ombudsman will be on the ground to check on the workers’ welfare through monitoring visits.

Seasonal Worker Programme overview

The Seasonal Worker Programme offers employers in the agriculture sector and employers in selected locations in the accommodation and tourism sectors access a reliable, returning workforce when there is not enough local Australian labour to meet seasonal demand.

Seasonal workers benefit from the opportunity to earn Australian wages and gain valuable on-the-job learning opportunities. Many seasonal workers use the money earned in Australia to pay for their kids’ education, start a small business or build a house. For the workers and their families, this is a life changing opportunity.

How to contact us, raise an issue or provide feedback


Information Line: +61 (02) 6240 5234 (9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday to Friday, Canberra time)

For more information on Australia’s skilled visas visit the Department of Home Affairs website.


The following is a list of all the news items that are associated with Seasonal Worker Programme.

Australian Government to provide more support for farmers and regional economies

News | 6 November 2018

Helping farmers while boosting economies in our region

News | 12 April 2018

Taire Kabotau is one of over 100 Kiribatis who come to Australia each year to participate in our Seasonal Worker Programme.

Prime Minister announces measures to increase access to the Seasonal Worker Programme

News | 12 September 2017

New measures to increase access to the Seasonal Worker Programme for employers and seasonal workers have been announced by the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP at the Pacific Islands Forum in Apia, Samoa.

Australian Government Response to 'Seasonal change' report tabled

News | 16 February 2017

Australian Government expands the Seasonal Worker Programme into the tourism sector in Northern Australia.

News | 6 May 2016

On 6 May 2016, the Australian Government announced the commencement of a tourism pilot under the Seasonal Worker Programme, specifically for Northern Australia. This pilot is one of the workforce measures announced as part of the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia. This builds on the...

Australian Government expands the Seasonal Worker Programme further into the agricultural sector

News | 8 February 2016

On 8 February 2016, the Australian Government announced further expansion of the Seasonal Worker Programme, from primarily horticulture to the broader agricultural sector. Employers in a range of agriculture industries including cattle, sheep, grain and mixed enterprises will now be able to...