Employer Accreditation through Immigration New Zealand becomes Mandatory in 2021

There are changes ahead in for all employers wishing to employ migrants.

Here’s what employers need to know.

Primary goals of the employer accreditation process are to streamline the recruitment process, & allow for an employer-led work-visa system – while at the same time reducing the risk of migrant exploitation, which is great news.

We see employer exploitation of migrants regularly – so we are fully in support of these changes.

The not so great news is that there is a complex process to navigate before accreditation can be granted, but relax – we are able to help you through it!

Employers getting started with accreditation will avoid the potentially long queue when accreditation becomes mandatory.

It is proposed there will be varying levels of accreditation so you will need to consider your existing migrant employees and strategic needs for the growth of your business before deciding which accreditation path to follow.

Two broad categories of accreditation are proposed as follows:

  • Standard Accreditation for employers who employ five or less migrant workers in a 12 month period. Standard accreditation does not offer a path to the much coveted ‘work to residence’ visa and will be valid for a 12 month period, following which a renewal process will be required.
  • Premium Accreditation for employers who employ five or more migrant workers in a 12 month period. Premium accreditation enables accredited employers to offer a work to residence visa (as long as the wage threshold is met), which some highly skilled migrants now prefer, especially in a situation where their skills are in demand globally. Premium accreditation will be valid for 12 months and requires renewal every two years for subsequent renewals.

How long does the Immigration NZ Accreditation process take?

Current turnaround time for Immigration NZ Accreditation is around 90 days and is likely to get longer as every NZ business employing migrants will be required to undergo the process.

Immigration NZ is already showing signs of overwhelm and delays are becoming apparent as employers start the application process.

We recommend that you do not delay in commencing your application and have introduced additional resource within our own team to assist employers prepare.

If you are considering employing migrants, please contact us

What is required for the accreditation process?

Things that Immigration NZ will take into consideration in the process (and that must be made available by the employer) include:

  • Sound financial performance to ensure future employment is secure
  • Robust HR processes and documentation
  • Proactive training & development programmes for existing workforce
  • Sound Health & Safety processes and documentation
  • Evidence of trying to recruit people already in New Zealand or NZ Citizens through specific channels

Some of the most common issues businesses are facing right now with accreditation include:

  • Inappropriate employment related advertising.
  • Lack of or inappropriate HR documentation
  • Lack of the required evidence of attempting to recruit local employees
  • Below standard training & development programmes in place for existing workforce

It is definitely worth an initial discovery call to chat about the next steps forward for your business. Once you are accredited, employment of migrants becomes increasingly more straightforward – plus you can be confident that your HR processes are such that you will achieve superior business performance and optimise the growth opportunity presented by the burgeoning Filipino workforce in New Zealand

Contact us to find out how we can help your business.

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Tanya Gray is your strategic HR partner, passionate about driving clients’ productivity with innovative solutions and collaboration.

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