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Learn about employing migrants

Comply with Australian employment law

All workers in Australia have rights and protections at work. People from overseas working in Australia also have these workplace rights.

As an employer of worker from overseas, you must obey all Australian immigration and workplace laws. Identify and regularly check your legal responsibilities.

Employers do not have the power to cancel or change a visa. Only the Australian Government can give or cancel a visa.

Employers of people from overseas must provide:

  • at least the minimum wage or the relevant 'market salary rate' (for sponsored visas)
  • payslips, superannuation and taxation documents to the employee
  • safe workplaces
  • legal pay rates, leave conditions, shift arrangements and dismissal processes

Learn more about your obligations to workers at the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The Fair Work Omubdsman’s Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT) gives you information on pay rates, shift calculations, leave arrangements, dismissal notice and redundancy entitlements.

Comply with your obligations as a sponsor

See the obligations for:

You will also need to check the obligations for sponsors on the Visa page, under When you are a Sponsor.

Penalties

We monitor these restrictions on visa holders. You may be fined up to AUD315,000 for each illegal worker you employ. You can be fined even if you did not know that they could not work.

Summary of the penalties

TypeMaximum penalty
Illegal Worker Warning Notice Administrative warningAdministrative warning
Infringement$3,780 fine for individuals
$18,900 fine for bodies corporate
Civil penalty$18,900 fine for individuals
$94,500 fine for bodies corporate
Criminal offence$25,200 fine and/or two years imprisonment for individuals
$126,000 fine for bodies corporate
Aggravated criminal offence$63,000 fine and/or five years imprisonment for individuals
$315,000 fine for bodies corporate

Note: All penalties are per illegal worker. An example of an individual would be a sole trader; a body corporate would be a company.

We are focused on responding to those employers that willfully take part in illegal work, not penalising employers who act in good faith.