In October 2019 Immigration New Zealand announced changes to how employers will be able to employ migrant workers on the new temporary work visa (the Employer-Assisted Work Visa) to come in to affect by 2021. The first step for all employers is to get accredited. This means Immigration New Zealand need to approve you to employ migrant workers.
The accreditation proposed in the new policy will not be the same as the current employer accreditation (Talent Accredited Employer). If the employers want to hire few migrants – 1 or 2, then the accreditation requirements will be basic, a very light touch. However, if an employer wants to hire more employees, then they will need to go through more checks.
We can help you to become an accredited employer
Once an employer is accredited, they will be able to consider hiring migrant workers for job vacancies that meet Immigration NZ’s job check criteria. Workers suitable for these vacancies can apply for a temporary work visa.
Immigration will expect a business to have a good history of advertising your positions and training New Zealand citizens and residents. They will want to know that the business is financially stable and that your HR information is at a very high standard. Therefore, it is essential that you start the process as early as you can so that you are able to lodge a strong application.
Some details, including the types of accreditation, have already been agreed while other details of the changes are still being worked on. There will be three levels of accreditation:
o standard accreditation — for employers who hire between 1 and 5 migrant workers in a year
o high-volume accreditation — for employers who hire 6 or more migrant workers in a year, and
o labour hire employer accreditation.
Most employers will need standard accreditation.
To get standard accreditation you must:
o not be on a non-compliant stand-down list — a list of employers who have broken employment law
o comply with any relevant industry or regulatory standards
o have no history of non-compliance in your dealings with Immigration New Zealand, and
o be in a financially sustainable position.
High-Volume And Labour Hire Accreditation
As well as meeting the requirements for standard accreditation, high-volume employers will need to make commitments to:
o training and upskilling New Zealanders, and
o increasing wages and conditions for workers.
Labour hire companies will also be assessed for these commitments when they apply.
How long does accreditation last?
Standard and high-volume accreditation will last for 12 months initially and then 24 months upon renewal. Employers with labour hire employer accreditation will need to renew this every 12 months.
Immigration New Zealand is aiming to confirm details of how and when employers need to be accredited and what it will cost by March 2020. The details to be confirmed include:
o how and when you will need to be accredited
o how long the process will take
o the cost
o what evidence you need to provide as part of the application process, and
o how we manage your accreditation status when you do not know how many workers you are going to employ in a year.
Immigration New Zealand will phase in accreditation so not all employers need to have accreditation on the same day.
What documentation will the employer needs to provide to INZ to get accredited?
From 2021, all employers wishing to employ migrant workers on the new temporary work visa will use a 3-step process.
1. An employer check — it will be mandatory for all employers, including those with an existing accreditation, to be accredited under the new application process before they can hire migrants on the new work visa.
2. A job check — this will include checking that the job is paid in line with the New Zealand market rate and, in some cases, will include a labour market test to ensure New Zealand workers are not available.
3. A worker check — when the worker applies for a visa, they must show they meet our standard character, identity and health requirements, as well showing they have the skills to do the job they have been offered.
What are the changes to the visa regime?
Up to the time the new system comes in to affect you will be able to seek this type of visa for employees.
Immigration New Zealand is replacing the essential skills visa from 2021. The new temporary work visa will replace six old temporary work visas. The visas that are being replaced are:
· Essential Skills Work Visa
· Essential Skills Work Visa — approved in principle
· Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa
· Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa
· Silver Fern Job Search Visa, and
· Silver Fern Practical Experience Visa.