April 7, 2024

Top tips for business

Arrivals, employment contracts, pay, and so much more...
Top tips for business
  • Everyone arriving (whether by air or sea) in New Zealand must complete an arrival card. There is now a digital option (including an app that is handy for frequent travellers). See https://www.travellerdeclaration.govt.nz/ for more information.
  • Migrant workers whose employment is terminated are covered by the same provisions under employment law as any other kiwi worker. The expiry date of a work visa should not be solely relied on to justify termination. Take advice.
  • From 14 April 2024 Immigration NZ will have the power to issue infringement penalties to employers that employ migrants who don't have the right to work (including overstayers or a work visa authorising work at another company or someone holding a visitor visa or a student visa that does has have not work rights) or failing to comply with an information request within a 10 day period. Fines start at $1,000 and can include a loss of employer accreditation status, a ban on securing more migrant workers and being placed on a public list of non-compliant employers (to name and shame). Make sure you have robust HR processes in place to avoid immigration nightmares.
  • Work visa applications are taking longer to process – apply early.
  • Pathways to residence for migrant workers are limited. Recommend your employees take immigration advice early on if residence is the end goal.
  • The adult minimum wage increased to $23.15 an hour on 1 April 2024. This increase covers migrant workers you employ that hold “open work rights” (a work visa that allows the holder to work for any employer).
  • Migrant workers usually take annual leave to head overseas to their home country. Have open communication early in their employment about close down periods and how flexible (or not) your business is towards long periods of leave (either paid or unpaid).
  • Recruiting workers from overseas? Recommend they apply for an IRD number as soon as the work visa is issued. Read more at IRD.
  • Opening a bank account is not always straightforward for new arrivals to the country. Recommend new migrant workers connect early with a New Zealand bank to open an account.

For anything immigration related talk to our team of employer specialists today.

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