As talks of easing travel restrictions become more prevalent and businesses prepare for a resurgence in the global economy, some may be considering widening their recruitment market and hiring migrant workers.
However, between now and 2021, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) will be making changes to employer processes and visas processes which employers will need to be aware of.
The new changes aim to improve New Zealand’s temporary workforce operations by ensuring that:
- Migrant workers are only recruited for genuine labour shortages.
- Regional and sector differences in the labour market are recognised when migrant workers are employed.
- Employers are encouraged to employ and train more New Zealanders.
In order to make such improvements, the INZ will be introducing a new temporary work visa to replace six existing visas. The six existing visas that will be replaced include the:
- Essential Skills Work Visa,
- Essential Skills Work Visa – approved in principle,
- Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa,
- Long Term Skills Shortage List Work Visa,
- Silver Fern Job Search Visa, and
- Silver Fern Practical Experience Visa.
To prepare for the replacement of these visas and help apply for the new one, employers need to be aware of the three-step employer-led visa application process that will be implemented from 2021. The new process will involve:
- An employer check: mandatory for all employers to be accredited under the new application process before they can hire workers on the new work visa.
- A job check: checking that the job is paid in line with the New Zealand market rate and in some cases, will include a labour market test to ensure New Zealand workers are not available.
- A worker check: when the migrant worker applies for a visa, they must show they meet the INZ’s standard character, identity and health requirements, as well as showing they have the skills to do the job offered.
Despite the current global economic climate, INZ is continuing to make changes to the state’s temporary visa and by 2021, the global employment market may look incredibly different. It is always important for employers to prepare for when the economy resurges and get a head start by understanding the ongoing migrant employment process changes.