7 Steps to Ensure Your Organisation is Work Rights Compliant

Work rights compliance is now an important business risk for employers – getting this wrong can have operational consequences and affect the organisation’s reputation.

So how do you make sure your organisation is work rights compliant? These 7 steps are a good start:

1. Visa Checking Prior to Employment

The immigration status of all staff should be checked as part of the recruitment process. For Australian citizens, an Australian passport, citizenship certificate or birth certificate may suffice.

For all others, you’ll need to collect passport details and do a visa check to verify work rights.

2. Consent for Visa Checking

The Department of Home Affairs requires employee consent before visa checks can be done. Updating employee contracts is one way of achieving this.

3. Work Rights Restrictions

Visa holders often have work restrictions – for instance international students can usually work only 40 hours a fortnight, and working holiday makers can only work for 6 months with each employer.

Any work restrictions need to be recorded and communicated to the payroll/rostering department to make sure they are complied with.

4. Expiry Dates

Temporary visas are valid for a fixed period of time. Around the expiry date, the employee should be contacted to verify their plans to extend their visa, and a visa check done to ensure the employee continues to have work rights in Australia.

5. Checking during Employment

Employees may change immigration status during employment so visa checks should be done “at reasonable times” during employment to make sure the employee can still work legally.
This is especially important for bridging visa holders whose visas may expire if a decision is made on their main visa application.

6. Keeping Records

Good record-keeping is essential to work rights compliance. Basic identity documents (ie passports or citizenship certificates) should be kept on file, as well as the results of any visa checks.

This is critical to establishing a “statutory defence” if it turns out that there is an issue with a staff-member’s work rights.

7. Auditing Existing Staff

Once the recruitment process is compliant, it’s important to audit the visa status of existing staff. Often, the necessary documents to establish immigration status have not been collected or retained so collecting these is the first step. Visa checks should then be done for any non-citizens and the above processes implemented for them.


Ensuring work rights compliance requires a number of steps to be followed rigorously by an organisation.
vSure offers a full compliance solution which makes it easy to:

  • Collect the necessary identity documents from staff
  • Manage consent for visa checking
  • Visa checks prior to recruitment
  • Automated visa checks during employment
  • Easy to understand explanations of work rights restrictions
  • Automated reminders of visa expiry dates
  • Maintaining an audit trail of all visa checks done

Please request a demo if you would like to know more about how vSure can help with work rights compliance.