Do you have migrant staff? Are you 100% sure they are all employed lawfully and that you fully meet your legislative obligations?
You’d be surprised just how many employers are putting themselves at risk of prosecution from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE). Here’s why…
When we meet with employers for the first time, most believe their business is fully compliant with labour laws and all their staff are legally employed. In nearly every case, the business is not compliant, and this poses a major threat to business success.
Common compliance issues include:
- Employees in breach of their work visa conditions, simply because they were promoted or moved to a different branch and did not make a new visa application as required.
- Employees employed on open work visas. At first glance, this seems fine, until we find out that the employee has an open work visa through their partner and the partner has failed exam papers at University or Polytechnic, lost their jobs, their hours have been cut by their employer to below the minimum visa requirement, or they have changed employers, jobs, locations without informing immigration by making a new visa application.
When the partner of an open work visa holder, to which your employee’s visa is tied, breaches their visa conditions, your employee’s visa may become invalid, and, consequently, you could be breaking the law.
So, are you confident your staff are all legally employed?
It’s not just the visa status of your employees you have to pay attention to.
When you hire a migrant employee or renew the visa of an existing one, you are required to supply business financials, PAYE, GST returns, employment agreements, bank accounts, time and wage records and health and safety records to Immigration New Zealand.
Immigration New Zealand is a branch of The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE), who are responsible for prosecuting non-compliant employers. So, you are handing that information directly to the people who could potentially prosecute your business.
MBIE has been clamping down on non-compliant employers.
Recent high-profile cases of employers of all sizes including New Zealand and multinational companies being publicly ‘named and shamed’ and banned from hiring migrants have graced the headlines.
In some cases, what makes it even more interesting (and risky) is that the employers were banned from hiring migrant staff for breaches that did not involve migrants at all.
Breaching employment legislation not only carries the risk of your business losing the right to hire migrants, but it can also severely damage your brand and, ultimately, your bottom line.
MBIE and Immigration New Zealand look for comprehensive:
- Human Resources policies
- Health and Safety policies
- Training and Development policies
- Staff Retention policies
- Remuneration policies
- Evidence of compliance with wage and holidays payment requirements
- Migrant Support policies
If you’re not sure your policies are compliant, or it sounds too hard, we recommend you act now.
Need some help?
Get in touch for a no-obligation consultation to see how we can help you manage your HR and Immigration Compliance risk.