Compliance is an ongoing process for businesses employing foreign nationals. Businesses that sponsor temporary workers are subject to certain sponsorship obligations and visa holders are bound by conditions which they must uphold.
Sponsorship obligations are in place to ensure that overseas skilled workers are protected from exploitation, and that the sponsored visa programme is being used to meet genuine skills shortages, and not to undercut local labour wages and conditions. Some obligations apply beyond the term of the sponsorship approval.
As a sponsor the business must:
cooperate with inspectors;
ensure equivalent terms and conditions;
provide records and information to the Minister;
inform when certain events occur;
ensure the visa holder participates in the nominated occupation, program or activity;
not recover from, transfer or charge certain cost to another person;
pay travel cost to enable sponsored persons to leave Australia;
pay costs to remove unlawful non-citizens;
provide training to Australians and permanent residents;
not engage in discriminatory practices.
The Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) monitors sponsors to ensure compliance with sponsorship obligations, as well as whether the visa holders are upholding their own visa conditions. DOHA monitors businesses during the sponsorship period as well as up to five years after the sponsorship ceases.
DOHA routinely monitors in three main ways:
writing to the business to ask for information in accordance with the obligation to provide records and information,
site visits, usually to the sponsored business premises, with or without notice,
exchanging information with other Commonwealth, State or Territory government agencies, including the Fair Work Ombudsman, the Department of Employment and the Australian Taxation Office
Failure to cooperate with inspectors is a breach of sponsorship obligations which may result in civil or criminal sanctions, as well as cancellation of the visa or sponsorship facility. It is therefore important to be fully prepared in the event of monitoring conducted by DOHA.
SCA Connect has in depth knowledge on monitoring and compliance matters. We assist visa holders as well as business sponsors on all aspects of monitoring and compliance including:
conducting mock audits and health checks of foreign employee populations to ensure ongoing compliance with sponsorship obligations;
providing a response to DOHA in relation to a monitoring request;
assistance with cancellation or a bar on business sponsorship;
advice on compliance with visa conditions.
Get in touch with your SCA representative to discuss your compliance needs or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein is of a general nature only and does not constitute immigration advice. For more detailed and case specific information or advice, please contact SCA Connect.