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PIA Press Release
2007/07/04

Feature: Australia's Employer Sanctions Act of 2007

Davao City (4 July) -- The Philippine Consulate General in Sydney, Australia has reported on the recent passage by the Australian Parliament of the Migration Amendment (Employer Sanctions) Act of 2007, which impose sanctions on individuals connected with the employment of unlawful non-citizens/illegal immigrants or foreigners in breach of their visa conditions.

The new law which is expected to be implemented by August 2007 targets employers, recruitment agencies, manpower service firms and even migration agents who knowingly breach Australian labor laws by employing, exploiting or even simply giving work referrals to illegal immigrants.

The new legislation imposes a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment and/or fines up to AU$60,000 for individuals or companies found to have violated the law. When there are aggravating circumstances such as slavery, forced labor or sexual servitude, the employers/companies can be penalized per worker exploited, with a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment and/or fines up to AU$165,000.

The passage of the new law is part of the continuing efforts by the Australian government against people-smugglers and organized crime groups who profit from illegal workers. It also aims to address the problem on illegal workers who take away job opportunities from Australian citizens and legal migrants.

The new law is expected to make employment difficult for overstayers, tourists, recruiters and migration agents from entering into illegal employment arrangements. The full text of the new law is available at http://www.comlaw.gov.au/ComLaw/Legislation/Act. (POEA-PIA XI) [top]

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