Visa Checks for Agriculture Businesses

Agriculture

Australia’s best agriculture businesses use vSure to protect their reputations

In an Industry that relies on Foreign Workers, compliance with the obligation to check and keep checking employee work rights throughout the employment cycle is a difficult and often time-consuming, manual process.

  • vSure streamlines the onboarding process with VEVO checks with a simple photo of a passport
  • vSure automates the ongoing monitoring of employee work visas
  • vSure sends emails or SMS to notify employers of the current visa status of all foreign workers
  • vSure highlights any changes (such as a working holiday visa with 40 hours/week work rights, changing to a Student Visa with 40 hours per fortnight restrictions)
  • vSure helps protect your agriculture business from on the spot civil penalties (with no recourse and no ignorance defense) of up to $94,500 per foreign worker found working in breach of their rights
  • vSure helps protect your Directors and Officers from civil penalties of up to $18,900 per foreign worker found working in breach of their rights
  • vSure helps protect you and your company from significant reputational damage, by keeping you compliant and stress free

Temporary Visa Holders in Agriculture

Many temporary visa holders in Australia work in the agriculture industry.

Whilst some hold employer sponsored visas such as 457 visas or TSS subclass 482 visas, many more hold working holiday visas, student visas, graduate temporary subclass 485 visas or even bridging visas.

These types of visas can be more difficult for employers to keep on top of. For instance, working holiday visas only allow staff to work for an employer for a maximum of 6 months. Most student visa holders can only work for 40 hours a fortnight. Graduate temporary visas generally only last for up to 2 years, and students usually change status – sometimes onto a visa which has less favourable work rights.

Why Should My Business Check Visas for Employees?

Employers should check visa status for all non-citizen workers both before and during employment. New offences and fines were introduced in the 2013 Employer Sanctions legislation.

If staff are detected working in breach of visa conditions or without a valid visa, the employer can face penalties. Penalties include fines and in some cases criminal sanctions. Fines apply on a strict liability basis – this means that the business may be penalised even if they are not aware that staff are working unlawfully.

On top of this, company directors and officers may face personal liability if there are illegal workers in the business.

There have been a number of businesses in the agriculture industry who have been targeted by the Fair Work Ombudsman and the Department of Home Affairs. Due to data matching initiatives between the ATO and other government agencies, employers hiring staff unlawfully are more likely than ever to be caught.

How Can vSure Help My Business?

A number of household names in the agriculture industry are already using vSure to comply with Illegal Worker Legislation.

vSure automates the visa checking process, giving you peace of mind that your business is not hiring workers unlawfully.

It is easy to set your business up in vSure. You can either upload a payroll spreadsheet, scans of passport ID pages, or send emails to staff requesting their details.

You’ll receive regular automated reports highlighting any staff with a work limitation, upcoming visa expires or who do not have work rights.

You’ll never miss a visa expiry again. You can choose to set up calendar reminders or get reminders via SMS or email.

Understanding visa conditions can be confusing – vSure makes it easier to understand what work the visa holder can do in Australia.

Read more about vSure features here.

How Do I Start?

If you are a smaller employer or just want to quickly check a few visa holders, vSure Instant Visa Check is probably the best solution.

Otherwise, if you are a larger employer wanting to take advantage of the full automation capabilities of vSure you can request a demo or see more information online here.

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