Government Halts Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) Median Wage Increase Amidst Regulatory Shifts
In a notable development, the scheduled elevation of the median wage rate for the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) set for February 2024 has been temporarily suspended by government intervention.
Key Points to Note:
Current Wage Rates Preserved:
For most AEWV holders, the existing rate of NZ$29.66 per hour will persist.
AEWV holders under the Care Workforce Sector Agreement will maintain the current NZ$26.16 per hour.
Sector-specific Rates Unaffected:
Wage rates specified in other sector agreements and roles granted exemptions to the median wage will also remain unchanged.
Median Wage Increase for Other Visa Categories:
While the AEWV faces a pause, the median wage for other visa categories like the Skilled Migrant and Parent Categories is slated to rise to NZ$31.61 in February 2024.
Implications for Pending Applications:
Notably, the planned median wage increase will not impact applications received before the scheduled upturn, offering a window of stability for ongoing processes.
Empowering Workers: New Worker Protection Act Takes Effect, Elevating Standards and Safeguards
As of January 6, 2024, the Worker Protection (Migrant and Other Employees) Act comes into full force, marking a significant stride in fortifying immigration and employment regulations for the comprehensive protection of all workers in New Zealand.
Swift Response Mandate:
Employers are now obligated to respond to requests for information from labor inspectors or immigration officers within a concise period of 10 working days.
Enhanced Safeguards Against Exploitation:
The Act stands as a robust shield against worker exploitation, aiming to foster fair and equitable working conditions for both migrant and local employees.
Innovative Offences Introduced:
Three new employment infringement offences have been introduced, specifically targeting actions related to the employment of migrant workers. These offenses signify a commitment to upholding ethical employment practices and ensuring accountability in hiring processes.
Transforming AEWV Labour Hire Dynamics: New Citizenship and Residency Requirements Take Effect
Commencing November 27, 2023, a pivotal shift in the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) landscape unfolds, specifically impacting labor hire (triangular) employment firms engaged in placing migrants in designated construction roles.
Elevated Workforce Composition:
AEWV labour hire firms facilitating triangular employment in specific construction roles must ensure that a substantial 35% of their labour hire workforce comprises New Zealand citizens and residents engaged in full-time employment, logging a minimum of 30 hours per week.
Standard Thresholds for Others:
For all remaining AEWV labour hire firms, the established norm of maintaining a minimum 15% threshold for New Zealand full-time workers persists.
Triangular employers, irrespective of the category, are mandated to furnish a declaration during the accreditation application or renewal process. Additionally, this obligation extends to the job check stage, particularly when the job role falls within the specified construction roles.