New Zealand employer accreditation is a rigorous process, where Immigration New Zealand will consider the employer’s immigration and employment history and will also welcome their spotless record of hiring New Zealanders, not to mention the evidence of the sound financial position.
What is required for an employer accreditation?
- First, the employer needs to be actually operating their business, to have an IRD number and an NZBN. They will also have shown full compliance with immigration and employment law.In some cases, for example, if the company has been trading for less than 12 months or does not have a sensible revenue forecast or cash flow projection, INZ will require financial evidence.The employer must show compliance with current New Zealand employment and immigration legislation. One of the steps to ensure this is to have all key figures of the employer (for example, human resources managers or others involved in hiring workers on AEWVs) complete Employment New Zealand employer modules on employment rights.
- Another requirement is to take practical steps to minimise the risk of exploitation by completing employment modules, providing migrant workers with advice on their rights, and paying all recruitment costs inside and outside New Zealand.
- The employer must also make commitment to support their migrant workers as they settle into the new environment.
The information the employer should provide must cover, among other things,
obtainment of an IRD number, industry training and qualification options that apply to them, job or industry hazards that have relevance, accommodation options available and the cost of living, information about driving and driving licence as well as public transportation, access to health services, services of Citizens Advice Bureau, and relevant community groups.
The employer should pay all recruitment-related costs
This includes advertising expenditures, head hunters’ fees, employer accreditation fees and fees for job check application, trade testing, tools, induction and training.
Employer should let employees complete all latest Employment New Zealand learning modules covering employment rights within 1 month of the employees starting work.
Two types of employer accreditation: standard and high-volume
- Standard employer accreditation may best suit those hiring up to 5 migrant workers who hold AVWVs at any one time.
- High-volume employer accreditation is for you if you hire 6 or more AVWV holders at any one time.
Apart from the numbers, there are more criteria to meet for those who recruit migrants for other parties (e.g. franchisees, labour hire companies and others).
High-volume accreditation additional requirements
On top of the standard accreditation checklist, these employers must either ensure the jobs they offer pay at least 10% more compared to the minimum wage, or are covered by a collective agreement.
In addition to both the standard and, if applicable, to high-volume requirements, franchisee employers will have to show:
- they have been in business for at least 12 months; and
- have a history of hiring New Zealanders.
More boxes to tick for franchisees
Franchisees will need to bear in mind their accreditation will last for 12 months and they will have to apply for a renewal if they want to continue.
Triangular employers (where a third party is involved)
These include labour hire companies, employers who send migrant employees on secondment to a third party, parent (umbrella) companies, placing their migrant employees with a third party (e.g. subsidiary, branch) that is a separate legal entity.
Those companies will have to put migrants in law-compliant businesses, have effective systems to monitor employment and safety conditions on site, and demonstrate that at least 15% of their workforce placed with third parties are New Zealanders in full-time employment.
Accreditation period and renewal
- All employers will be accredited for 12 months initially.
- At renewal, franchisees and employers applying for AEWVs for migrants in the interests of a third party will receive accreditation for a further 12 months.
- Accreditation period for all other employers will be 24 months.
Benefits of becoming an accredited employer
- Hassle-free hire of overseas workers in the core area of employer’s business activity;
- No need to apply every time, as long as your accreditation period is valid;
- Pathway for residence - additional incentive for your employees;
- A fair degree of surety about the employee’s loyalty, as to be granted residence a holder of an AEWV eligible for a pathway for residence must keep a suitable employment for at least 24 months.
Is there a downside?
- A rigorous process may be a deterring factor as it may be onerous if you embark on it on your own.
- The cost may be another consideration, as well as the fact that if the application is declined, the application fee will not be refunded.
Needless to say, that all the pros and cons of New Zealand employer accreditation warrant thorough consideration before applying for an accredited employer status, but if, on balance, turn your mind to it, our experienced immigration adviser will assist you at every step of what otherwise may be an arduous endeavor. Here you can book your 100% free 30-minute consultation with our immigration consultant already today.
Some frequent Q&As
Can I just hire overseas workforce on an as-needed basis?
A short answer is – no, you cannot.
You definitely need to be accredited if
- you have a genuine need to hire migrants;
- you have made genuine, but futile, attempts to recruit New Zealanders over a period of time (with exceptions for the jobs paying twice the median wage and those on the Green List);
- you have a history of recruiting and training New Zealanders (in some cases, a certain percentage of those is required on your workforce);
- you bear full responsibility for your staff, supervising the work they do and paying their wages;
- you commit yourself to helping the migrant workers to settle into life in New Zealand, to get acquainted with their rights;
- your company is in a sound financial position;
- human resources policies and processes of a high standard are in place in your company;
- your workplace practices are impeccable and so is your history of compliance with New Zealand immigration and employment law.
How long is the accreditation valid for?
It is for 2 years, which means you can offer employment to workers from overseas at any time during this period.
Is there a registry of the accredited employers with up-to-date information?
Yes, the list is available on the Immigration New Zealand website below: