How essential is it to apply for a Work Rights Check in Australia?

Why is it important to have a Work Rights Check in Australia?

A Work Rights Check can be one of the first requirements when you go for a job interview, especially if you are a temporary visa holder. It is a legal requirement for all new and current employees as it can save a business from hefty fines and penalties.

So, if you are not an Australian citizen but do hold a valid visa, you should check your work rights to ensure you are following the terms of your visa.

Applying for this check is very easy, and you receive results instantly. In this blog, we will cover why this check is important, what are the documents required to work in Australia, who should perform this check and how to apply for this check.

Who can legally work in Australia?

Along with Australian citizens and Permanent Residents, even temporary visa holders can legally work in Australia if their visa allows. You have to remember that not all visas give you the rights to work in Australia.

Documents needed to work in Australia

You may need to show one or more documents as proof you have work rights. These include but are not limited to:

  • Australian birth certificate
  • Australian passport
  • Proof of permanent residence status
  • Australian citizenship certificate
  • Valid visa with permission to work (not all visas allow a person to work)

Why an Employer may ask for a Work Entitlements Check

From July 2019, every employer is obliged to submit their employees' pay report to the Australian Taxation Office; this is called a Single Touch Payroll. So, now the ATO has the real-time knowledge of who is being employed and paid. And, here's the kicker. They share this data under Data Matching Arrangements with other government agencies, including the Department of Home Affairs.

Sometimes the Department of Home Affairs receives anonymous tips of illegal recruitment and can 'raid'. Moreover, they can easily cross-match this information with who has the legal right to work; an employer may face automated audits and targeted enforcement!

What are the other reasons?

There are distinct working rights for different visas. Temporary Visas may be revoked occasionally. Or, a visa holder can apply for a bridging visa before the initial visa has expired. Such visas do not have the same work rights as the initial visa. The visa status must be regularly checked, and a VEVO Check (VEVO Work Entitlement Check) will be required to prove this.

An apt example of this might be when a holder of a Working Holiday Visa applies for a Student Visa. There are full working privileges for a Working Holiday Visa, while a student visa allows you to work 40 hours a fortnight. If employers do not routinely inquire for their employees' visa status, they can face fines and other penalties.

Who is this check suitable for?

Every Temporary visa holder may be entitled to apply for a Work Rights Check. This check is suitable for applicants on:

  • Student Visas
  • Bridging Visas
  • Temporary Graduate Visas
  • Employer-Sponsored Visas
  • Working Holiday Visas
  • Partner/Spouse Visas
  • Provisional Visas
  • Permanent Residency Visas
  • Citizens of New Zealand

What risks are involved if you don't check?

An individual illegal worker can be fined up to $63,000 or may have to serve 5 years imprisonment. From an employer's point of view, there are chances of hefty penalties and fines iif they don't ask their employees to provide a Right to Work Check. An organisation can be fined up to $315,000 if they illegally employed any candidate.

Apart from the fine, an organisation can put their reputation at risk as well. The Australian Media reports can create a lot of unwanted information that no business would like to face. The best way to avoid this is to ask the employees to obtain a Work Rights Check.

How do I perform a check on myself?

Applying for a Visa Entitlement Verification Online Work Entitlement Check is easy through KONCHECK. To apply for this check, you must have your travel document, which is linked to the visa.

As soon as you provide your travel document information, you will receive the result instantly. KONCHECK charges $4.95 for this check. Your employer can check the authenticity of the certificate through KONCHECK.

The best practice is to obtain this check along with your National Police Check. Most certificates are issued within 1-2 business days!

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