New Employer Accreditation Policy Finalised

Accredited Employers

After delays blamed on the Covid-19 outbreak, but more likely from poor planning, Immigration New Zealand have finally released information for when the new Employer Accreditation and Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) visas will come into force. The AEWV is a temporary work visa replacing a number of current work visas including Essential Skills Work Visas and Talent (accredited employer) Work Visas.

For the 9th May 2022 prospective employers can begin to apply for accreditation along with job checks required under the new visa policy. Even if employers have previously been accredited under the old policy, they will have to reapply for the new accreditation scheme. To qualify, all employers will have to meet standard requirements including proof that the business is genuine and compliant, committed to helping migrant settle and minimising migrant exploitation. Depending on the nature of business models, some companies may have to meet specific requirements while others can apply for different levels of accreditation depending on the number of migrants they wish to employ.

Standard accreditation will allow companies to employ companies to employ of to 5 migrants on AEWV’s at any given time. So this is quite an important distinction that employers need to be aware of, this is not 5 immigrants on work visas, it only relates to those on the new accredited work visa. Further to that though, this is also not an annual allotment, so not 5 per year. So if two years down the line you have 5 staff members on AEWV’s and you want to employ additional migrants you would need to apply for high-volume accreditation. High-volume accreditation will enable employers to have 6 or more AEWV holders on staff at any given time.

While still not entirely clear, it appears that first-time applicants under the new policy will receive accredited employer status for 12 months. However, on renewal accreditation will be granted for a further 24 months.

Once accredited, employers will need to apply for a job check for each migrant they wish to employ. Employers are required to pay for the job check and the purpose thereof is to confirm that all conditions of the proposed employment comply with New Zealand’s laws and employment policies. Employers may also need to perform a labour market test depending on how much the job pays, where the job is and what the occupation is.

Like most companies, if you are an employer that relies on the migrant workforce you should get in touch with us sooner rather than later. With a little more than 6 months to go, now is the perfect opportunity to ensure you are complaint and have all the required policies in place to be granted accreditation under the new policy.

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