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Employers may face migrant hire stand-down for breaking rules

Employers who break employment and immigration laws can be barred from hiring migrant workers. If you hire or plan to hire overseas workers, make sure you know the rules. 

Who

If you’re an employer and currently hire or you plan to hire migrant workers, employment standards apply to you.

Employing migrants (external link) — Immigration New Zealand

What

Employers who have been penalised for breaching employment standards can be barred from hiring migrant workers. 

Depending on how bad the breach is the stand-down period can last six months, one year, 18 months or two years.
Examples of breaches include paying less than the minimum wage or other breaches of employment standards that result in a penalty.

Clampdown on non-compliant employers (external link) - Immigration New Zealand

Breaching minimum employment standards (external link) - Employment New Zealand

Migrants working for employers who are found to have breached the rules can work out the full length of their work visas.

Migrants working for employers who are found to have breached the rules can work out the full length of their work visas.

However, they won’t get further visas that let them work for the same employer.

When

The new rules start from 1 April 2017. 

Why it’s important

“Migrant workers make a valuable contribution to our workforce and have the same rights as any other worker,” Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse says.

Migrant workers are a vulnerable section of the workforce — they’re less likely to understand their employment rights.

“It is simply unacceptable that those employers who exploit migrant workers are still able to recruit from the international labour market and disadvantage those employers who do the right thing,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“Access to the international labour market is a privilege, not a right and if employers abuse that privilege by exploiting migrants or failing to comply with employment law, there will be consequences.”

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