The contents of this article are correct as at 28 June 2013.
In an effort to prevent the misuse of the subclass 457 visa scheme by some employers the government has introduced legislation into Parliament this month empowering the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) to monitor and enforce conditions surrounding the employment of subclass 457 visa holders.
A media release by the Minister for Immigration, Brendan O’Connor, in March 2013, indicated that the purpose of the legislation is to empower the FWO to “monitor key aspects of employers' compliance with 457 visa conditions”. This will include the FWO checking that 457 visa holders are:
- being paid at the rate specified in their visa application; and
- performing the work, as described in their visa application
FWO staff will have the power to immediately refer any non-compliance or suspicious activity to the DIAC investigation team for more detailed examination beyond basic checks on pay, conditions, and jobs being done.
The government has also proposed the establishment of a subclass 457 visa hotline for visa holders and concerned parties to call where they believe that an employer is breaching their sponsorship obligations under the scheme.
If you have any questions in relation to the FWO’s new powers please feel free to contact us.