It won’t be news to Members living in and around Bunbury that a recent Immigration raid discovered six illegal workers whose tourist Visa’s had expired. As reported in the local media, the six workers had been working in the agricultural industry. While the outcome for the employer or employers has not yet been reported on, it is timely to remind all of our Members to be continuously vigilant when undertaking recruitment and selection of new staff.
The Migration Amendment (Reform of Employer Sanctions) Act came into being on the 1st of June which could now see employers who employ illegal workers face civil penalties of up to $76,500.00 if the Department of Immigration and Citizenship decide to take matters to court. But criminal offences can go as high as $255,000.00 or five years imprisonment. Businesses may also be “named and shamed” if they are found to be in breach of the new Legislation which certainly won’t do anything positive for an employer’s reputation or credibility.
In reviewing the work rights of overseas workers, Workwise utilises the Department’s VEVO service, which is an online verification system that supplies information regarding the eligibility of workers to work in Australia. According to the Department, VEVO is their preferred method of checking if non-citizens are allowed to work.
Knowingly or recklessly allowing a person to work illegally or to refer an illegal worker for work is a criminal offence so we ALL need to be vigilant.
Contact the Workwise office if you have any concerns surrounding the employment of workers on Visa’s, and don’t forget we are running Best Practice Recruitment and Selection training in August in both Bunbury and Albany which will touch on employing workers on Visa’s.