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New Employer Sanctions Legislation to affect the way Recruiters and Employers manage their Temporary Resident Employees in Australia

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This memo was drafted by vSure on 10 April 2013
Category: Professional Practice Compliance Sub category: Professional Practice

It is estimated that there are 100,000 people working illegally in Australia – this number includes those working without a valid visa or in breach of their visa work conditions. In response to the rising number of illegal workers, the Government has introduced the Employer Sanctions Legislation. The new legislation has just passed through Parliament and will come into effect in the coming months.

The legislation is mainly targeted at employers, but there are also serious consequences for recruitment companies. Under the new legislation, recruiters must:

- Check the visa status and work rights of a candidate prior to referral to a business for employment.
- Ensure that any recruiters or temps employed by them maintain their eligibility to work in Australia throughout their employment.
- Maintain records of completed visa checks.

The consequences for recruiters who do not comply with the new Legislation can be dire. Infringement notices of $9,900 apply for each offence – these apply on a strict liability basis (ie no fault, negligence or intention need be proved). Penalties can rise to $49,500 if the Department decides to take the matter to court. Besides these hefty fines, the Department of Immigration may also “name and shame” businesses found to be in breach of the new Legislation, compromising their reputation and credibility with clients.

Using a cloud-based immigration compliance system makes it easy for recruiters to do visa checks for candidates, employees and contractors. It can maintain an auditable paper trail of visa checks to avoid the new penalties, as well as providing calendar, email and SMS notifications of visa expiries. It is beneficial to engage an organisation which can provide an automated visa checking service to pick up any changes to visa status automatically and notifies the business about any issues.

The New Employer Sanctions Legislation requires recruiters to be much more careful in dealing with temporary visa holders. However, with the right systems in place, recruiters can comply without spending an inordinate amount of time.

vSure is a cloud-based immigration compliance package for recruitment businesses. The Employer Sanctions Bill requires recruiters to visa check all candidates prior to referral to an employer. vSure allows employers to visa check all candidates prior to referral to an employer with a single click, and clearly explains any visa conditions, storing the results for future reference. For temp desk managers, vSure does regular checks of all staff to ensure that they are complying with their visa conditions. Please email vSure at support@vsure.com.au for a copy of the White Paper explaining the impact of the new legislation, or visit www.vsure.com.au to see a demonstration of the this system.

This memo has been drafted byVsure to assist RCSA Members with a general understanding of the subject matter. This memo does not purport to be an exhaustive statement of all best practice requirements in the area. It is provided to RCSA Members as a guide only.

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