Oct 25, 2023

Immigration policy updates – October 2023

Off the back of recent migrant exploitation findings, Immigration New Zealand have announced a series of changes.

The below is a quick summary to keep you up to date. If you need clarification please feel free to get in touch any time.

Longer Processing Times

Employers should be aware of extended processing times for Accreditation, Job Checks and AEWV applications. Delays are due to adjustments to the application assessment process with some applications taking up to 6 weeks to be finalised.

In addition, and as part of more stringent compliance checks, additional information and documents are now being requested, particularly for those who have not thoroughly submitted their paper work.

To prevent delays that could impact your business greatly, it is vital that your information is submitted correctly from the outset. Our team can offer guidance before you submit, to ensure you are optimising your chances of approval.

Trial periods prohibited from 29 October 2023

Current employment law allows companies with 19 or fewer employees to include trial periods in their employment agreements. Effective from 29 October 2023, accredited employers will no longer be permitted to implement a 90-day trial period in employment agreements for AEWV holders – irrespective of whether applications were submitted before this date and assessed on or after.

It is important to note that Job Checks and AEWVs approved before this date, which include trial periods, will remain unaffected by the new regulation and can continue as planned.

More so than ever before, employers need to prioritise a meticulous recruitment process and ensure positions are offered to suitable candidates possessing the necessary skills. This can involve implementing various assessment methods such as trade testing and thorough reference checks.

Accredited employers risk having their accreditation revoked if they choose to employ trial periods.

Workforce percentage mandates for labour hire companies

From 27 November 2023, labour hire (triangular) employment companies placing workers in noted construction occupations must have at least 35% of their labour hire workforce comprised of New Zealand citizens and residents in full time employment.

This compliance measure will be evaluated during the Job Check process and at the time of accreditation renewal.

For a list of the noted construction occupations email us and we will get this to you.

Ensuring you are compliant is more key than ever before

It is crucial for employers to uphold compliance with the recent changes introduced by Immigration New Zealand. Ensuring adherence to the updated regulations not only fosters a fair working environment but also safeguards your business against potential risks and financial implications. 

Author

Zinny Cheng
Corporate Services Manager – Visas
IAA License #201600617

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