Senators welcome tougher stance on work permit violations
Legislation aimed at increasing penalties for work permit violations has been unanimously approved in the Senate.
The Immigration and Protection Amendment Act 2013 received praise from both sides of the upper chamber yesterday, with Home Affairs Minister Micheal Fahy declaring it another promise delivered by the Government.
“I think it's going a long way to fulfil the Government's commitment,” he said. “There will be no tolerance for breaches of the act.”
And asked by Senator Diallo Rabain for an update on declarations issued to all work permit holders stating they know they cannot expect permanent residency, Sen Fahy said ten percent have still yet to sign.
He added: “Work permits simply will not be issued if the declaration is not completed.”
The new laws will give the Chief Immigration Officer power to impose a civil penalty of $5,000 for a first offence and $10,000 for a second or subsequent offence on employers and or employees wherein work permit violations occur.
Such violations could include working without a work permit or working outside of the scope of a work permit.
Opposition Senator Marc Daniels said he applauded the spirit of the bill, but said Government should consider raising the penalties even further if violations of the act continue to be an issue.