Employer Compliance When Hiring Migrant Workers
When you employ migrant workers in New Zealand, you must ensure that you are compliant with both the immigration and employment laws of New Zealand.
Employing workers from overseas is a common practice and can help stimulate the economic growth or New Zealand, while also offering the worker an incredible opportunity. However, before you can do employ them you must ensure you’re compliant.
You can find compliance information regarding the employment of migrant workers in New Zealand on this page. You can also discuss your options and seek our assistance too.
Local Labour Shortages
While there are many opportunities and avenues available for migrant workers to work in New Zealand, as an employer, you must ensure that a local New Zealander is unable to fill the position before you can offer the role to a migrant worker.
The aim is to ensure that we’re providing New Zealand residents and citizens with the opportunity to contribute to the sustainable growth of New Zealand and ensure they too can have the opportunity to benefit from gainful employment in New Zealand.
Offering a Role to a Migrant Worker
Before hiring a migrant worker, it’s extremely important that you ensure they have the legal right to work in New Zealand. This responsibility falls with the employer.
A migrant worker does not necessarily have to have a valid visa at the time they have been offered a role, however they must have an appropriate approved visa by the time they commence working for you.
They must be able to provide you with proof that they have valid working rights, and this can be in the form of a valid visa in their passport, an eVisa, an Australian Passport or other approved travel documents.
Many current New Zealand visas offer working rights, however, it’s important to confirm this as the penalties for hiring a person who cannot legally work in New Zealand can be significant.
Employment Terms and Conditions
Under New Zealand immigration law, migrant workers must be afforded the same terms of employment as a New Zealand citizen or resident. This includes the same workplace standards and hourly rates.
Th exploitation of migrant workers can result in very serious consequences for an employer, including fines and sanctions such as being unable to hire migrant workers for a period of time. In very serious cases of breaching these terms, an employer could also face imprisonment.
In New Zealand, immigration advice is highly regulated and must not be advised upon unless you are a licensed Immigration Advisor, New Zealand Lawyer, or a staff member of the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Immigration advice is so highly regulated because it can be extremely complex and updated on a regular basis.
This means, as an employer, you cannot advise on visa categories that you believe to be suitable for a person’s circumstances, nor can you advise on the documentation or forms required. You can, however, point a person to publicly available information and to the services of an immigration advisor or lawyer.
This ensures that when mistakes are less likely to occur, and migrant workers can successfully apply to work in New Zealand with the right information.
How Immigration Chambers Can Help
Immigration law can be complex and overwhelming, but here at Immigration Chambers, we’re here to make understanding your options and ensuring you meet all the necessary requirements as an employer a lot easier.
Our team of immigration specialists include accredited immigration lawyers and licensed immigration advisers who are not only vastly experienced in all manner of immigration law matters but are also well versed in the latest immigration laws and restrictions for New Zealand.
If you’re an employer looking to hire migrant workers, we can work with both you and your potential employee to ensure that their application to work in New Zealand is as accurate and stress-free as possible.
We can assess your situation and ensure you’re submitting the correct information, that you meet the necessary requirements, and that your potential employers are applying for the right type of visa.
Why Choose Immigration Chambers for New Zealand Immigration matters?
Here’s why people choose Immigration Chambers for assistance with immigration and visas for New Zealand:
We make the process easier
Immigration and visa matters are often complex but we’re here to take the stress and confusion out of the process and ensure that you have the right information for your situation.
Our team is made up of qualified immigration experts – both immigration lawyers and immigration advisers. Our knowledge is up-to-date and accurate.
We pride ourselves on being able to advise businesses and individuals on all aspects of immigration law and ensure that our advice leads to successful outcomes.
We will always keep you up to date with the latest news and any changes to policies and laws that could impact your visa application.
Frequently Asked Questions
Depending on the breach incurred, the consequences can vary significantly.
For example, employers bear the legal responsibility to ensure their employees have the right to work in New Zealand and if they fail to do so, they could face the following punishments:
– A maximum fine of NZD $10,000 for employing a foreign national not authorised to work.
– A maximum fine of NZD $50,000 for knowingly permitting or continuing to permit an unentitled foreign national to work.
– A maximum penalty for exploiting a foreign national, whom the employer knowingly allowed to work without entitlement, includes up to seven years of imprisonment, a fine of up to NZD $100,000, or both.
Employers must adhere to the following:
– Ignorance of a worker’s visa validity is not an excuse. Legally, it is the employer’s duty to confirm all staff have legal work status in New Zealand. Visa View can be used for these checks.
– Unless licensed or exempt (such as lawyers or the Citizens Advice Bureau), employers cannot provide immigration advice to candidates. Instead, direct them to the Immigration New Zealand website or its Contact Centre for information.
– Employers cannot hire migrants with temporary visas for commercial sexual services.
– Employers must not undercut migrants by paying them below, or providing conditions lesser than, New Zealand’s workplace minimums. Migrants should be afforded the same rights as New Zealand citizens and residents.
Working with an immigration specialist, like Immigration Chambers can help to ensure you avoid any non-compliance issues.
Not necessarily, however, if you or your potential employee needs advice on their application or visa options, they will need to either find the information in the publicly available information, or work with a licensed immigration specialist.
At Immigration Chambers, we can help you. Our licensed team will ensure that you understand your obligations and options.
Contact us today for an initial enquiry
We are New Zealand’s largest and most experienced team of licensed immigration advisers. Our experts will take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our team is on standby, ready to help.
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