- Purpose of Accreditation: New Zealand businesses that frequently hire migrant workers can benefit significantly from becoming Accredited Employers. This status is part of the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) program.
- Benefits: As an accredited employer, you’ll enjoy quicker visa processing times, reduced documentation requirements, and a streamlined process for proving the unavailability of New Zealand workers for specific roles.
- Special Visa Conditions: Partners of New Zealand citizens who have lived overseas for over five years may qualify for a Permanent Resident Visa under certain conditions.
Is it a requirement for my business to get accredited?
- From July 4, 2022: Mandatory for employers hiring under the new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) system.
- For Open Work Visa Employers: It is not immediately required but is advisable to prepare as it will be mandatory soon.
- Future Requirement: All work visas, including partner, student, and working holiday visas, will necessitate employer accreditation in late 2023.
How does a business become an accredited employer?
Understand the Requirements
Familiarize yourself with the specific obligations under the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) system.
Complete Mandatory Training
Ensure both migrant workers and critical staff complete the required training modules provided by Employer NZ.
Businesses in the labour-hire, tripartite, or franchise sectors meet additional criteria, including enhanced recruitment practices and training for New Zealand workers.
Submit an Application
Apply for accreditation by providing necessary documentation to Immigration New Zealand (INZ), including business details and evidence of compliance with employment standards.
Demonstrate your business’s financial health, including profitability and positive cash flow for specified periods.
Commitment to Training and Employing New Zealanders
Show plans for employing and training local staff, alongside hiring migrant workers.
No Regulatory Non-Compliance
Ensure your business has a clean regulatory record with no history of non-compliance with New Zealand laws.
Support Migrant Workers
Provide comprehensive settlement information to migrant workers, covering aspects like obtaining an IRD number, accommodation, and healthcare services.
Cover All Costs
Handle all costs related to advertising, recruitment, immigration fees, and any necessary training or equipment.
Once submitted, INZ will assess your application against their criteria, which includes reviewing your business’s financial stability, HR practices, and workplace conditions.
Consider scheduling a consultation with an expert immigration advisor to ensure your application is robust and meets all the requirements.
By fulfilling these steps, your business can successfully become an accredited employer, allowing you to hire migrant workers under the AEWV system in New Zealand.
What are the different types of Employer Accreditation?
The Accredited Employer Work Visa program offers two primary accreditation tiers: Standard and High-Volume, and additional requirements apply to employers operating in labour-hire, tripartite, or franchise sectors.
Standard Employer Accreditation:
- For employers with 1 to 5 migrant workers.
- Focuses on compliance with minimum employment standards.
- Initial accreditation is valid for 12 months and renewable for 24 months.
High-Volume Employer Accreditation
- For companies hiring 6 or more migrants annually.
- Emphasizes higher standards for worker attraction and retention.
- Initial accreditation lasts 12 months, with 24-month renewal options.
Labour Hire/Tripartite/Franchise Accreditation
- Additional requirements for specific sectors.
- Involves in-depth checks and possibly on-site inspections.
- Validity and renewals are for 12 months.
What is the Employer Accreditation process and how long does it take?
- Application Essentials: Includes documentation on worker safety and employment conditions, monitoring plans, and compliance evidence.
- INZ Assessment: Checks financial stability, HR practices, workplace practices, and commitments to train and employ New Zealanders.
- Duration: Typically around 10 working days as of May 23, 2022, subject to change based on demand and other factors.
ICL Assistance: Get expert help from ICL to guide you through the accreditation process.
What are the criteria and requirements for applying for Employer Accreditation?
Business Legitimacy and Compliance
- Valid New Zealand Business Number (NZBN): Must be registered and operate as a legitimate New Zealand business.
- Registration with the Inland Revenue Department (IRD): Businesses must be fully compliant and registered with New Zealand’s tax authority.
- Profit Reporting: Businesses should report profits for the last 24 months, excluding depreciation and tax.
- Positive Cash Flow: Demonstrated positive cash flow for the last six months is required to ensure ongoing viability.
- Capital and Funding: Sufficient or external funding should be secured to support the business’s operations and growth.
- For New Businesses: Those operating for less than 12 months must provide evidence of financial stability upfront.
- No History of Non-Compliance: Businesses must not have any history of regulatory non-compliance, including with employment laws and standards.
- Declarations Required: Necessary declarations from the business and critical office holders regarding compliance are necessary.
Migrant Worker Welfare
- Promoting Positive Settlement Outcomes: Employers are expected to assist migrant workers with settlement by providing comprehensive information on various aspects such as obtaining an IRD number, accommodation, transportation, and healthcare services.
- Employment Rights Education: Migrant workers must be allowed to complete employment rights modules from Status New Zealand during paid work hours within their first month. Similarly, those involved in recruitment must complete employment rights modules from Employer New Zealand.
- Covering Costs: Employers must bear all costs related to advertising, recruitment, immigration fees, job check applications, and any necessary tools or trade testing. Illegal fees cannot be charged to workers.
Record Keeping and Transparency
- Documentation: Employers are required to keep thorough records throughout the accreditation process to demonstrate compliance with all the requirements mentioned above.
If these requirements seem overwhelming, don’t worry; ICL’s skilled accreditation experts are here to help clarify the criteria and guide you seamlessly through every step of the journey!
Book a free consultation today and have all your questions answered.
Validity and Cost of Employer Accreditation
Validity: Initial 12-month period, with 24-month renewals (annual renewals for specific sectors).
- Costs Vary by Application Type:
- Standard Accreditation: NZD 740.
- High-Volume Accreditation: NZD 1220.
- Upgrade Fee: NZD 480 for upgrading from Standard to High-Volume.
- Tripartite Agreements: NZD 3870.
- Franchisees: NZD 1980.
- Labour Hire: NZD 3870.
- Reconsideration Fee: NZD 240 for declined applications.
- Note: Fees are subject to change and exclusive of additional compliance costs. Exemptions may apply for previously accredited employers.
Employer Accreditation is a status granted by Immigration New Zealand to employers who meet certain criteria. It allows them to hire skilled migrant workers under the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) scheme. This status is a testament to the employer’s commitment to fair and standard employment practices.
Any New Zealand employer who wishes to recruit foreign workers under the AEWV scheme must first obtain Employer Accreditation. It's essential for businesses looking to fill skill gaps with overseas talent.
Accredited employers can directly recruit foreign workers, have a streamlined visa process for these workers, and demonstrate to potential employees their compliance with high employment standards.
Employers must demonstrate a commitment to training and employing New Zealanders, have sound business practices, and show compliance with immigration and employment laws. They must also meet specific criteria regarding the sustainability and profitability of their business.
Typically, accreditation is valid for 12 or 24 months, depending on the type of accreditation granted. Employers must reapply for accreditation before it expires to continue hiring migrant workers.
Employers must submit an application to Immigration New Zealand, including evidence of their compliance with accreditation requirements. This involves detailed documentation of their business practices, HR policies, and commitment to employing New Zealanders.
Yes, there are different levels of accreditation depending on the size of the business and the number of migrant workers intended to be hired.
The cost for employer accreditation varies depending on the size of the business and the type of accreditation. For Current fees details contact ICL Immigration.
Yes, accredited employers can support their migrant workers’ applications for residence under certain categories, provided the workers meet the specific residence visa requirements.
If an application is denied, Immigration New Zealand will provide reasons. Employers can address these issues and reapply or seek legal advice for further actions.
ICL Immigration offers comprehensive services including assistance with the accreditation application process, ensuring compliance with all requirements, and providing guidance on maintaining accreditation standards.
Employers must identify and address any specific hazards associated with the jobs for which they are hiring. This includes ensuring compliance with New Zealand's health and safety regulations and demonstrating proactive measures to protect migrant workers.
Hiring and HR managers should familiarize themselves with the accreditation requirements, including fair hiring practices, ensuring equal treatment of New Zealand and migrant workers, and maintaining updated records of employment agreements and workplace policies.
Accredited employers must prioritize hiring New Zealand citizens or residents before seeking migrant workers. They must prove that they have genuinely searched for suitable local candidates before offering positions to overseas applicants.
Bonding agreements, which bind workers to a business for a certain period, must comply with New Zealand's employment laws. They should be fair, reasonable, and not exploit the migrant worker's situation.
The accreditation application requires extensive documentation, including business financials, HR policies, proof of commitment to hiring New Zealanders, and plans for training and upskilling local staff.
ICL Immigration provides guidance on meeting and maintaining accreditation standards, including regular reviews of employment practices, assistance with compliance audits, and updates on changes in immigration policies.
ICL Immigration assists with the renewal process by helping employers update their documentation, ensuring ongoing compliance with accreditation criteria, and providing advice on any changes in the accreditation process.
Labour Hire Accreditation is specifically designed for businesses that provide labour hire services. It differs from standard Employer Accreditation as it requires additional compliance with regulations specific to the labour hire industry. This includes adhering to standards that ensure the fair treatment and support of migrant workers in various job placements.
The benefits of Labour Hire Accreditation include the ability to recruit skilled migrant workers under the AEWV scheme, demonstrating compliance with New Zealand’s rigorous employment standards, and enhancing the company’s reputation as a fair and responsible employer in the labour hire industry.
To transition from standard Employer Accreditation to Labour Hire Accreditation, an employer must meet additional criteria relevant to the labour hire sector, such as enhanced checks on employment practices and worker support systems. ICL Immigration can assist with this transition by providing expert advice and support throughout the application process.
Disclaimer: The information provided is subject to change based on New Zealand government policies. For the most current information, please refer to Immigration New Zealand or contact ICL Immigration for updated guidance.