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latest news in employment law

Employing Immigrants

Published 01 Mar 2017

From 1 April 2017 employers who breach immigration or employment law will be restricted from recruiting any further migrant workers.

Any employers who have incurred a penalty for breaching employment or immigration standards will be given a stand-down period which will prevent them from recruiting migrant workers.   Stand down periods will be between 6 and 24 months depending on the severity of the breach.

Examples of employment and immigration law breaches include:

  • Hiring a person who is not entitled to work. Employers have an obligation to check if a potential employee has the legal right to work in New Zealand before they commence employment;
  • Giving immigration advice to a candidate;
  • Hiring migrants and paying them less or offering them working conditions below the minimum employment standards e.g. Break entitlements, minimum pay, holidays and leave, written employment agreement. Employers should be offering the position to migrants with the same pay and conditions that they would offer a New Zealand citizen to do that job.
Certain crtieria and published guidelines will ensure that stand-down periods are applied fairly, consistently and transparently. Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse is says "Access to the international labour market is a privilege, not a right and if employers abuse that privilege by exploiting migrants or failing to comply with employment law, there will be consequences".