Employing skilled migrants has employer responsibilities that standard NZ Resident employment does not – and that’s why settlement support is both important and necessary.
After all, your worker has left their family and support system in order to relocate to a foreign country – so it is appropriate to welcome them and provide support to help them settle in.
It is actually a requirement from the DMW (Philippine Department of Migrant Workers) that certain aspects of pastoral care are in place – and it’s the employer’s responsibility to provide this. RecruitNZ is happy to guide you through this.
RecruitNZ feels strongly about employers taking care of all workers, but skilled migrants, in particular, are vulnerable to exploitation. On this page you’ll learn more about settlement support – and also get an insight into the life changes experienced by some of the hard-working Filipinos now employed in New Zealand.
What's required in terms of settlement support for Filipino migrant workers?
There are special rules in place around pastoral support for employers who hire Filipino workers – these requirements are set and monitored by the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), which is represented by Migrant Workers Office (MWO) in Wellington.
No fees are payable for migrant workers
New Zealand is a no fee country, which means that migrant workers shouldn’t pay any fees to an agency for the recruitment process to gain employment in New Zealand. Nor should there be any fees for providing settlement support.
Our partner in the Philippines abides by these rules (as does RecruitNZ) – but there are many agencies that break this rule. Please consider carefully whom you choose to work with.
Airfares and airport meet-and-greet
Employers must pay return airfares for the worker: this is a legal requirement.
It is recommended – but not mandatory – that you meet your new workers at the airport when they arrive, or have someone meet them on your behalf.
Accommodation cost and settling in
Employers of Filipino workers must pay accommodation costs for at least the first two to four weeks. It’s fine to accommodate several Filipino employees in one dwelling.
Although it isn’t mandatory, RecruitNZ recommends accompanying the worker to their accommodation to help settle them in. We also recommend providing your new employee with a meal, some groceries, and information on their local area. Although you don’t need to feed them on an on-going basis, it’s good practice to provide food until the worker has received a wage payment so they can purchase food for themselves. Remember that most workers won’t have very much, if any, money with them. It is a small cost for the value the worker will provide to your business, and your new employee will appreciate the extra pastoral care you are providing them with.
It is compulsory to provide Filipino employees with information on how to find somewhere to live, how to access public transport, and how to access health care.
RecruitNZ will assist your Filipino worker to obtain an IRD number and open a bank account. We also send all our Filipino recruits a welcome pack that includes a $30 SIM card, cooler pack lunchbox, drink bottle, and beanie. Plus the worker receives on-going pastoral support from us via our dedicated Facebook group as well as on-going check ins from our team.
Employers need to provide transportation to and from the workplace for the start of a Filipino worker’s employment. It’s fine for the worker to be expected to cycle or walk, provided it’s close and safe. Some employers choose to provide a shuttle vehicle to pick workers up each day, and then transport them home again after work.
Many Filipinos don’t have a driving licence, but RecruitNZ prefers to source workers who have a current licence so they can be more independent while they are in New Zealand.
It’s compulsory that employers provide Filipino workers with repatriation insurance for the length of their visa. This covers emergency medical evacuation to their home country, should they need it.
Workplace safety and orientation
You’re required to provide orientation briefings and employment-related information to help migrant workers understand any industry-specific hazards, and also their employment rights. Site safety training and induction training is also required. Any PPE gear needs to be provided and paid for by the employer.
You also need to ensure that migrant workers have time to complete Employment New Zealand’s online modules
within one month of beginning their employment. The modules help migrants learn about their employment rights and therefore help to avoid potential disagreements. You need to keep records of when your migrant workers completed the modules, as you may be asked to provide evidence of this.
What do Filipino workers say about their experiences?
Thanks to my boss and RecruitNZ for putting me here to bring us here, we are all happy we're here and thank you also for the car and the barbecue, we can’t say anything just thanks. Thanks RecruitNZ for bringing us to our company."
I’d just like to say thank you to RecruitNZ for bringing me here in this beautiful place to work for an awesome employer. I am beyond grateful for where I am now. I’m in good hands and have a generous employer."
- Jaypee | AluminiumFabricator/Installer
“I first met the RecruitNZ team as a candidate looking for a new job. They were friendly, very communicative, going into detail as to the benefits of working at the business along with their values and culture. I found the process thorough and helpful. Now that I work in the business, I am now using RecruitNZ to recruit my new team members. I am confident that they will go the extra mile during the recruitment process and will find the best people for us."
Jeremy Olliver | National Sales & Business Development Manager | Unex System
Do you have questions about settlement support or hiring skilled migrants?
Please contact us for advice and information, we’ll be glad to help you.