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, when hiring an Australian, ask to see their passport, which is where any valid visa will be. Many Australians come over on a working holiday visa, meaning 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 as she did – wouldn’t you rather spend the money on something else??!!