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Right to work compliance checklist for HR teams

Ensuring your organisation is compliant with legislation governing legal right to work isn’t just about avoiding penalties, it’s about creating and maintaining a trustworthy reputation and peace of mind.

By following this right to work compliance checklist, Australian organisations can ensure they remain compliant with right to work regulations, thereby avoiding penalties and contributing to a lawful and fair working environment.

1. Run pre-employment right to work checks

Verify Citizenship and Immigration status during recruitment or onboarding. Collect and verify passports, citizenship certificates, or birth certificates plus photo ID for Australian Citizens, and conduct visa (VEVO) checks for anyone who is not Australian. Ensure the passport name and photo matches the candidate that you know.

2. Ensure you obtain consent

As you are collecting Personally Identifiable Information (PII) from your incoming employee, you are required under the Privacy Act 1988 to gain consent to collect and use this personal information.

The Department of Home Affairs also requires individuals to provide written consent before an organisation can run a visa (VEVO) check using the individual’s information. 

Secure employee consent prior to collecting PII and prior to running a check via software or inclusion in onboarding documentation or employment contract.

3. Monitor any work restrictions for Foreign Citizens

Track and communicate visa conditions that limit work, like the fortnightly cap on hours for international students when classes are in session.

4. Track any visa expiry dates

Keep tabs on Foreign Citizens visa expiry dates and check for extensions or new visas to ensure continuous work rights and to learn if any visa conditions change. Set reminders to give your team time to follow up with employees ahead of expiry.

5. Run periodic checks on Foreign Citizens

Regularly re-verify employees’ visa statuses, especially for those on temporary or bridging visas. Schedule regular VEVO checks for all employees on visas to ensure continued work rights.

6. Maintain clean records

Take steps to verify the accuracy of information at the time of collection and review and update records as necessary to ensure current employees’ documents are up-to-date. Maintain comprehensive records of identity documents having been sighted and reviewed. and visa check results in case of an audit.

7. Ensure data security and privacy protection

When collecting employee data, ensure it’s done lawfully and fairly. Implement robust security measures, including encryption, access controls, and regular audits, to mitigate risks and ensure compliance with the Australian Privacy Principles. Once data is no longer needed, securely delete or de-identify it to prevent unauthorised access or misuse. Keeping sensitive data on employees who have exited the business is a risk.

8. Continuously train up your HR and recruitment teams

Provide regular training on the right to work requirements and procedures in your organisation. Ensure HR staff are familiar with using VEVO and interpreting visa conditions. Schedule periodic reviews of compliance procedures to incorporate any legislative changes. Keep up to date on the latest changes to visa rules and legislation by following the CheckWorkRights LinkedIn company page and the Department of Home Affairs website.

9. Seek advice from professionals

Seek advice from Registered Migration Agents, Lawyers and compliance experts to ensure your procedures meet legal requirements. CheckWorkRights offers free Right to Work Process/Visa Compliance Health Checks for HR teams that are unsure if their current process meets legal requirements. Book a time here.

CheckWorkRights can help you achieve your right to work compliance goals, without the need for excess manual admin. CheckWorkRights simplifies document collection, consent management, and visa checks. You can also integrate CheckWorkRights with your existing HRIS and ATS software for a seamless workflow. Get in touch today to book a demo. 

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is general only, and not to be taken as Migration Advice. Please be aware that visas and regulations are subject to frequent change. It is advisable to verify the latest information from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and or seek specific advice relating to your circumstances from a MARA Registered Migration Agent.