The Australian government has introduced new legislation to parliament which will allow it to name and shame companies and business owners who fail to meet their skilled visa sponsorship obligations.
Currently, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) is forbidden from publishing anything more than limited information regarding sponsorship breaches.
However, with the introduction of the new legislation last week the DIBP will now be able to publish detailed information about the breaches and penalties issued.
The Assistant Minister, Alex Hawke, has issued a statement about the new policy, saying “the publication of detailed sanction information will deter businesses from breaching their obligations and allow Australians and overseas workers to inform themselves about breaches”.
Hawke also said that the legislation will be used to assist in identifying employers who underpay visa workers or visa holders who illegally work for more than one employer.
The new bill will also grant the Department of Immigration the right to collect, record, store and use the tax file numbers of temporary and permanent skilled visa workers.
The DIBP will now be able to ensure that sponsors and workers are complying with their visa obligations by allowing them to more efficiently match data with the Australian taxation office.
The data will also be used for academic and research purposes.
The CEO of Absolute Immigration, Jamie Lingham, voiced his support for the initiative, calling it an important step in the fight to stamp out the exploitation of foreign workers.
“We believe that this is a good initiative by the government to ensure that the visa system is being used correctly by both employers and visa holders,” Lingham said.
“Naturally, we expect that there will be a significant amount of compliance work for Absolute Immigration once the ATO/DIBP data-matching system comes into effect. We anticipate that this will catch out a lot of student visas holders who have been working more than 20 hours per week, and also employers who are not paying their overseas workforce correctly.”
“Our view is that companies who employ foreign nationals need to prepare for a significant level of scrutiny from the DIBP, and the best way they can do this will be to contact one of our Registered Migration Agents to discuss how we can reduce any potential issues that this new regulatory environment might bring,” he said.
If you have any questions or would like us to assist with your global immigration queries, please contact one of our Registered Migration Agents on 1300 ABSOLUTE (1300 227 658).
Chief Executive Officer