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Make Sure You are Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS) Compliant

Written By Michael Walker
Thu, Oct 22, 2015
Michael Walker

Australian Employers who are approved as a Standard Business Sponsor (SBS), for the purposes of nominating candidates for 457 visas, are bound by strict liability legal obligations.

Even if inadvertent, a failure to adhere to these onerous obligations can result in an approved employer sponsor being subject to severe sanctions, which may see a sponsorship cancelled, suspended or an employer barred from making any further sponsorship applications.  Further, for more serious transgressions, an Australian sponsor may incur significant monetary fines, as a result of civil penalties being issued by the Department of Immigration.

The ramping up of sponsorship obligations occurred as a result of the Migration Act (Employer Sanctions) Amendment Bill 2013 .  This legislation essentially provides for the following:

• No Fault Liability for all Australian approved Employer Sponsors.
• The liability extends to Directors, Partners and Sole Traders.

As a result of this Bill there are tiers of possible sanctions, available to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), which are as follows:

• Infringement Notices.
• Civil Penalties
• Criminal Penalties.

Therefore, a breach of your 457 visa sponsorship obligations could see civil liabilities for directors and business owners, substantial fines and in extreme cases, prison terms.  Further, where breaches have been sustained by the DIBP, you could be barred from future sponsorships
Accordingly, it is vital that you ensure you are compliant with these legally enforceable sponsorship obligations.

It also should be noted that the the Department of Immigration have the power to undertake the following:

• A right to request records.
• May conduct on-site inspections.
• Conduct unannounced inspections.
• Cross reference with the ATO
• Work in conjunction with Fairwork Inspectors to conduct such audits.

At TSS Immigration, we offer an audit process, conducted within your business, under strict confidentiality, to assist you to ensure that you are compliant.  We also offer advice and strategies as to how to best keep records on your 457 visa population, with a view to putting in place best practice and safeguards, which will protect you against possible future breaches.

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