Crackdown on illegal workers begins 1 June 2013
The Migration Amendment (Reform of Employer Sanctions) Act 2013 commences on 1 June 2013.
The Australian Government is cracking down on employers who hire people illegally to work in Australia. Although it’s always been against the law to do so, with the Employer Sanctions Legislation confirmed for 1 June 2013, it is evident that the campaign to stop illegal workers in Australia is being elevated.
Unfortunately not many business owners, directors or company officers are aware of the new legislation, although there are dire financial and reputational consequences for being found in breach. Infringement notices of $15,300 and upwards to $76,500 can be imposed on businesses for each employee found to be working illegally in Australia. The Government also has more power to impose penalties now, compared to past legislation where they had to prove recklessness in hiring illegal workers.
Looking at the results of recent campaigns against employers with illegal workers in Australia, it’s apparent that the new legislation is being taken seriously by the Government. Compared to 2011–12 where almost 2000 illegal workers were found in Australia, just in March alone this year another 1600 illegal workers were found. Judging by these numbers we can only assume that the Government’s campaign will increase in severity with the introduction of the legislation on 1 June 2013.
In the past few months, the following actions have already been taken:
- 14 suspected illegal farm workers in a single operation in northern Victoria’s Goulburn Valley region
- 11 illegal workers and visa overstayers in a series of compliance operations in the Hunter and north-west NSW regions.
- 7 illegal workers on a farm in Stanthorpe
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Minister of Immigration Brendan O’Connor’s media release on Employer Sanctions Legislation commencing 1 June 2013
Migration Amendment (Reform of Employer Sanctions) Act 2013 – ComLaw