The Department of Immigration (DOI) now have the capacity to issue infringement notices of $15,300 without proving negligence, fault or intention to businesses employing workers in breach of visa conditions or work rights.
These changes came into effect on 1 June 2013 and are part of The Migration Amendment to the Reform of Employer Sanctions Act 2013.
With each offence incurring a fine, as well as the potential for penalties to rise to $76,500 if DOI brings the matter to court, the consequences should be taken seriously. Additionally, the DOI are able to ‘name and shame’ non-compliant businesses, leading to a tarnishing of reputation and credibility for both employers and recruiters.
Specialist immigration compliance firm vSure advised that employers and recruiters should:
Check visa status and work rights of candidates prior to engagement.
Implement processes to ensure all employees continue to have appropriate work rights during employment, including contractors and temps.
Maintain records of all completed visa checks.
This new legislation will require all businesses to be cautious when dealing with temporary visa holders. However, vSure advised that with adequate systems in place, compliance can be achieved without excessive expenditure of time or resources.