The contents of this article are correct as at 23 May 2013.
From 1 June 2013, new and harsher penalties will be in place for employers hiring illegal workers. The new scheme firmly makes the employer responsible for ensuring that all their employees have appropriate work rights. It is not possible for an employer to contract out of this responsibility, even where a labour hire company or contractor has provided the labour.
Fines will range from $3,060 to $75,600 per illegal worker employed by the employer.
The following people are eligible to work for an Australian employer:
- Australian citizens
- Australian permanent residents
- Temporary visa holders with appropriate work conditions
Where an employer employs a temporary visa holder it is incumbent upon the employer to check the person is eligible to work. The best way to do this is to check the person’s visa status on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system.
Employers must first obtain written permission from a visa holder to check their status on VEVO. Employers should be aware that a person’s work conditions can change. As a safeguard employers may also wish to consider including a clause in their employment contract requiring the employee to advise them of any changes to their visa status and/or their work conditions.
If you require any information about the employment of overseas nationals in your business please feel free to contact us.