Directors and Company Officers Personally Liable for Illegal Workers

Under the 2013 Employer Sanctions Legislation, Directors and Company Officers can be personally liable if their business is engaging illegal workers.

The legislation extends offences to “Executive Officers” of companies where the business has committed an offence. Under the new legislation, “Executive Officers” include:

  • Directors of companies
  • Chief Executive Officers
  • Chief Financial Officers
  • Company Secretaries

An executive officer may be personally liable if they know or are negligent as to whether workers are engaged in breach of visa conditions (s.245AJ).

If they are a position to influence conduct of the company, executive officers must take all reasonable steps to avoid the breach being committed.  Criminal and civil penalties can apply.

Directors and company officers must take steps to ensure the business is employing best practice in checking workers’ visa status to avoid potential personal liability for offences under the new legislation.