Why you must keep proper employment records for 457 visa workers

By Charles Power on October 21st, 2011
  1. Employee Management
  2. Recruitment & Induction

Dear Reader,

Do you employ any workers on 457 visas?

If so, you’ll want to pay close attention to today’s Bulletin

A recent case has shed some light on why it is so important to keep proper employment records for all workers employed on subclass 457 visas.

In Fair Work Ombudsman v Orwill Pty Ltd & Ors [2011] FMCA 730 (28 September 2011) the Federal Magistrates Court ordered two companies and their directors to pay a total of $28,820 in penalties after failing to keep proper employment records for three 457 visa workers at a Perth café in 2008.

The employers failed to make and keep proper employee records, didn’t record the proper details of each employee’s employment (such as the rates of pay for each employee) and failed to provide the employees with payslips.

Both companies and their directors claimed ignorance, but the magistrate was having none of it.

Each company was ordered to pay $12,100 and the directors were fined $2,200 and $2,420 respectively for being knowingly involved in breaching the Workplace Relations Act 2006.

Fair Work Ombudsman Nick Wilson commented that these penalties were amongst the highest ever for a case only involving improper record-keeping and pay slip violations – and if the breaches had been committed under the Fair Work Act, they could have been even higher.

Under the Fair Work Act, the maximum penalties for breaching record-keeping laws are higher than they were under the Workplace Relations Act, so you need to be aware of your obligations when it comes to 457 visa holders now more than ever.

Check out Charles’ article below to find out your 9 requirements as a 457 visa sponsor.

Until next time…

Claire Berry

Claire Berry
Workplace Bulletin

And now over to our editor-in-chief Charles Power…

Continues below…


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Your 9 requirements as a 457 visa sponsor
By Charles Power
Editor-in-Chief, Employment Law Practical Handbook

If you sponsor any workers on a 457 visa, you will need to ensure that:

  1. You cooperate with DIAC inspectors.
  2. Your sponsored employees are offered equivalent terms and conditions to Australian citizens or permanent residents.
  3. You pay the travel costs to enable sponsored persons to leave Australia when their employment ends (if it is requested by the holder of the visa or DIAC).
  4. You pay any costs incurred by the Commonwealth in locating and removing sponsored employees.
  5. You keep records of your employment of the sponsored employee.
  6. You provide the DIAC with any records or information they request.
  7. You let the DIAC know when certain events occur (i.e. when a sponsored employee ceases employment).
  8. The sponsored person only works in an approved occupation.
  9. You don’t recover certain costs from sponsored persons (i.e. costs associated with the sponsorship application or recruitment of sponsored persons).

Be careful: you will not necessarily be relieved of these requirements if you cease employing the sponsored person. For instance, you have an obligation to keep records about sponsored employees for 2 years after they cease employment with you.

For more information on migration and your requirements as a 457 visa sponsor, check out chapter M2 Migration and Recruiting Skilled Workers in your Employment Law Practical Handbook.

Not yet a subscriber to the handbook? Click here to find out more about migration and recruitment.


Charles Power

Charles Power
Employment Law Practical Handbook

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