Legislation to counter hiring of illegal workers

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Legislation to counter hiring of illegal workers

Companies which hire illegal workers could be penalised up to $50,000 and individual employers $10,000, under tough new Bill introduced into Federal Parliament.

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Companies which hire illegal workers could be penalised up to $50,000 and individual employers $10,000, under tough new Bill introduced into Federal Parliament.
 
The Minister for Immigration Chris Bowen said the new laws came about following public consultations on the findings of an independent review of the penalties and enforcement arrangements regarding illegal workers.
 
The legislation
 
The Migration Amendment (Reform of Employer Sanctions) Bill 2012 amends the Migration Act 1958 to implement the Government’s response to the independent report entitled Report of the 2010 Review of the Migration Amendment (Employer Sanctions) Act 2007 (the Howells Review) conducted by independent legal expert Stephen Howells.
 
The Howells Review considered the effectiveness of the current employer sanctions framework, including criminal sanctions and an administrative warning notice scheme that was introduced in 2007 as a result of a Howard Government commissioned review, the Review of Illegal Work in Australia (RIWA) in 1999. Howells found that the employer sanctions framework was wholly ineffective as a deterrent against the number of employers and labour intermediaries who persist in allowing or referring non-citizens to work without the required permission.
 
The Government announced on 12 December 2011 that it will legislate to reform the employer sanctions regime. The Government has agreed to a package of reforms based largely on the recommendations of the Howells Review, although some of these recommendations have been modified as a result of broad stakeholder consultations undertaken in 2011 and 2012.
 
Modifications were made to ensure consistency with the preferred approach to drafting offences and civil penalty provisions promoted by the Attorney General’s Department’s A Guide to Framing Commonwealth Offences, Infringement Notices and Enforcement Powers, and to achieve the aim of establishing a simple, practical, cost effective employer sanctions regime that is easy to understand and administer.
 
Details
 
Details on the proposed legislation can be found here
 
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