Labour market tests

Immigration NZ have made it clear they will be looking very closely at what efforts an employer has made to recruit locals before extending or issuing new work visas. With the expectation of rapidly rising unemployment and more kiwis back in the job market Immigration NZ and Work and Income (WINZ) will be working much closer together.

Employers who placed recruitment advertisements during the lockdown should be prepared to re-advertise in Level 2 and for longer than 4 weeks if the job is low skilled. Business should also reset expectations to bring in overseas workers to fill low skilled roles.

Immigration NZ will not penalize employers whose financial sustainability has been affected by COVID 19. Any employers who have recent redundancies in their business should be prepared to explain why kiwis were put of work before work visa holders if they had the same skill sets.

Expect the labour market test to get tough. Getting the documentation and process right is going to be critical if you want to keep migrant workers in your business.

We are waiting on news when skilled overseas workers can start crossing the border again and get to work. We have advocated a user pays system for the mandatory 14 day quarantine period as a way to support a positive decision by government.

Contact Lukas Sousa, Licensed Immigration Adviser who specializes in supporting employers on mobile: 022 689 5500 or email:

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