The Act, aimed at tightening the regulatory regime governing the employment of non-citizens, will commence 1 June 2013. The Act broadens the range of related criminal and civil offences and creates new non-fault civil penalty provisions, an infringement notice scheme, and statutory defences for those allowing/referring an unlawful non-citizen to work or allowing/referring a lawful non-citizen to work in breach of their work-related visa conditions. Corporate officers can also be held individually liable for immigration compliance breaches within the business.
In related developments, the Fair Work Ombudsman has been further empowered to monitor key aspects of employers’ compliance with 457 visa conditions, including pay rates and job descriptions. To facilitate this, the number of Inspectors available to DIAC will increase from 30 to over 300.
In addition, a range of measures to tighten the rules under the subclass 457 visa program are also to be effective 1 July 2013, as is a significant increase to the current application fee for 457 visas from $455 to $900 announced.
KPMG’s national Immigration practice is currently working with their clients in navigating through these many changes and they would be pleased to assist you to deliver time-effective, people focused solutions to these complex and ever changing immigration requirements.