Oddly enough, the Australians, although they are “just like us”, are actually one of the few nationalities we come across regularly which are NOT entitled automatically to work here.
So for starters, ask to see their passport, which is where any valid visa will be. Many Australians come over on a working holiday visa, which means that they can be here for two years, but only work for a total of 12 months. If this is the visa they have, you then need to know how many of the 12 months they have already worked.
The most urgent next question is “Is it worth employing them for such a short time?” And if you do employ them and they work out well, are you willing to help them with the visa application process?
When you employ any non-UK citizen you should photocopy their passport or photo-id in order to protect yourself in the future. You aren’t expected to identify a fake ID/passport, but you should spot any obvious discrepancies (e.g. date of birth).
When you take a photocopy you protect yourself from a huge fine – £10,000 for unwittingly employing illegal aliens – and all you need to avoid this fine is to take good photocopies of genuine-looking documents. Lady Scotland didn’t do this and really should have paid the maximum fine, but even if you “only” have to pay £5,000 like she did – wouldn’t you rather spend the money on something else??!!
And for UK citizens – make it standard procedure to take copies of everyone’s passport or ID, so that no-one can claim that they are being discriminated against. For your British workers the documents prove that they are who they say they are, preventing identity fraud. Any staff who object to that really do need to be investigated properly!
“We receive a much better service than we did from the generic legal advice lines we used in the past.” Amicitia