Tag Archives: Employer Accreditation

Employer accreditation – avoid the log jam and act now

Employers act now: New Zealand Immigration is making changes to the Migrant Work Visa Category

The Government is proposing changes to employer-assisted temporary work visas. These include introducing a new framework for assessing all employer-assisted temporary work visas, and compulsory employer accreditation for those hiring from overseas.

These changes will affect all businesses who wish to employ migrant workers, particularly across the hospitality, construction, and IT industries.

One of the most notable changes to the policy is the legal requirement for all businesses to be accredited before making a migrant hire. The intent is to streamline the visa process, allowing for an employer-led work-visa system, and to decrease migrant exploitation.

While this may ultimately benefit both workers and employers, the process for accreditation isn’t a quick one.

The sudden surge in businesses needing accreditation, coupled with Immigration New Zealand’s current backlog of work (and resulting snail-paced turn-around) is, as RNZ reports, set to “compound existing delays to hiring foreign labour”.

For employers who don’t already understand the system, the accreditation requirement will simply make the process more complicated.

Becoming accredited means that businesses must prove their “trustworthiness” across several areas. There will be several different types of accreditation, but all businesses will have to show evidence of:

  • compliance with labour laws
  • high-practice human resource processes and policies
  • financial stability
  • commitment to increasing worker benefits and pay.
  • Commitment to training and hiring local workers

For roles other than those above a certain wage threshold (above $78,000pa) or on a regional shortage list, labour market testing will also be required. This is to show the company has made an honest attempt to recruit locally.

Employers will also need to prove they have training systems in place to transfer knowledge from migrant workers to local staff, as well as systems to avoid their business becoming reliant on migrant workers.

Then, of course, will be the migrant’s own visa application process.

Now is the time to act. Businesses that want to make a migrant hire in the next 24 months must begin the process now, to avoid the inevitable visa-application log jam.

For more details on these changes, see our article “Employer-Assisted Work Visa Changes Proposed By Government”.

If you would like advice on how your business can become an accredited employer before the changes, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

If you’d like to read about a client who has gone through the employer accreditation process, check out their story here.

 

Helping Businesses To Become Accredited

Recently, we assisted the nationwide horticulture business Zealandia to become an accredited employer. With over 200 staff they were facing constant skilled labour shortages, gaining employer accreditation is now saving them both time and money when they need to go offshore to recruit.

“I work for a horticulture business that employs over 200 staff. We’re considered to be a large horticulture business in an industry with a skill shortage. If we weren’t able to hire offshore staff, we’d be in big trouble.

Thanks to the assistance from Aaron, Zealandia is now an Immigration New Zealand Accredited Employer.
Gaining accreditation means we’ve almost completed the immigration process before we recruit. As long as our candidate fits the criteria, Immigration New Zealand has already given us preapproval. This means we don’t risk going through the whole expense of recruiting from overseas with the risk of not being able to have the selected candidate be successful from an immigration perspective.

We’ve been working with Aaron for years now. I really like how upfront and honest he is about whether a case is likely to be successful. I don’t think he likes coming second very much, and I get the feeling he doesn’t submit a case unless he’s pretty sure it will get across the line.

We’ve also experienced cases that were unsuccessful where Aaron went into bat for us because he believed the law had been interpreted wrong. He has had decisions overturned by challenging the decision-maker. As a lay-person, that’s exactly what you need from your immigration lawyer.

We have huge confidence in what Aaron says and we lean on him for advice. He’s a good man. We wouldn’t have achieved the success from an immigration perspective in our business without someone like him in our camp.”

 

Pedro Wylaars
General Manager, Zealandia Horticulture

 

Speak to us if you need help getting your business accredited with Immigration NZ.