Today the first stage of the Accredited Employer Work Visa [“AEWV”] scheme opens where New Zealand employers can apply for their accreditation to offer roles to offshore migrant workers.
On 20 June, the Job Check system is due to open where offers can be made to offshore migrant workers and on 04 July, the first applications for the AEWV will start. Immigration New Zealand aims to have the first AEWV’s issued by 31 July.
The new system is based on government objectives to reduce exploitation of migrant workers and to address the perceived over-reliance on migrant workers filling low-skilled/low-paid positions that should be filled by Kiwis.
Median Wage increases 04 July
Employers will only be able to sponsor migrant workers paid at least the minimum pay rate. For the majority of roles, the pay rate is set at $27.76 per hour i.e. $57,750 per year based on a 40-hour week. There are some exceptions where lower minimum pay rates will apply:
- certain roles in tourism and hospitality, and construction and infrastructure industries: $25 per hour, and
- certain roles in the healthcare industry: $25.39 per hour.
The lower pay rate for these sectors will in place until April 2023 while new sector agreements are released during 2022 [meat processing, tourism, hospitality, aged-care, construction and seasonal tourism).
For many employers, paying $27.76 per hour is not a viable option. Even the lower $25 per hour rate for some sectors are unrealistic! Employers need to also ensure there is pay consistency between both Kiwi’s and migrant workers alike.
What do Employers need to do?
The costs of employing migrant workers has increased significantly in terms of application fees [accreditation and job-checks are the employers responsibility], as well as the time and effort to be invested in pastoral care as well as training and educating migrants on their employment rights.
The new process needs to be well-managed and documented year on year and planning ahead will be imperative. Employers are encouraged to seek expert advice to ensure they make the most of these opportunities and prepare well.
Feel free to Contact us for a confidential chat.