News and updates from the team
Immigration Changes - removal of the 90 day trial period as an option for AEWV holders
Immigration New Zealand has recently announced changes to the employer job check process to protect migrant workers.
As of the end of October, Job Check applications will automatically be declined if they include a trial period clause, regardless of when they are submitted. This means that if a Job Check application that is submitted now doesn’t get processed until the end of October, it will still be declined if it includes a trial period. See here for more information: Government announces more support for migrants who have been exploited | Immigration New Zealand
What does this mean for employers?
The 90 day trial period made provisions for employers to terminate employment without the employee being able to bring a personal grievance about their dismissal (although they could still bring a personal grievance on other grounds such as discrimination or unjustifiable disadvantage). Some employers may be concerned as to how they now mitigate the risk of a new employee not meeting their expectations.
This further cements the need for undertaking proper due diligence on prospective employees and ensuring that you set clear expectations including behaviours, role and culture at the beginning of the process with clear written guidelines to manage against in the event that things don’t work out.
Pre Employment Screening
Pre employment screening must be role appropriate, but at the very least it should include:
Photo ID sighting
Google check of the employees name and any other previous names they are known by
Interview questions and techniques that are tailored to getting the most important information from your candidate
Reference checks (ideally the current and previous employers) – make sure you check that the contact details are legitimate
Screening such as credit checks, drug and alcohol and medical checks, criminal history etc. may also be appropriate. Aptitude tests, personality profiling, CV checks, etc. are also a great way of assessing a candidates suitability for a role. Remember that any check that you undertake has to be appropriate to the type of work being undertaken!
Open communication from the start paves the way for a good relationship with your new employee. Employment agreements, employee handbooks, job descriptions, policies and induction plans and checklists all provide the opportunity to set the tone and a clear framework for management if things don’t quite pan out as expected.
People Plus can provide advice and tailored packages to help you to make the right recruitment decisions and reduce the likelihood of expensive processes further down the track. We can help you with employer accreditation, job checks and work visas, as well as putting the right HR infrastructure in place, to help if things don’t go according to plan.
Important Immigration announcements were made on 15 July 2021 which are important if your business hires migrants workers, you can read the full announcement here, a summary of the important points are as follows:
- The median pay rate for essential skills work visas increases to $27 per hour from Monday 19th July, the maximum duration for applications for jobs paid below the median wage will increase from 6 months to 24 months.
- Employers won’t be required to complete a labour market test where a worker is applying for a visa for a full-time role which the worker already holds. These applicants also won’t need to provide medical and police certificates to Immigration New Zealand if that information has been supplied previously.
- The new Accredited Employer Work Visa, which was due to come into effect on 1 November, will be delayed until the middle of next year. An update will be provided as soon as an exact date is confirmed.
We are working closely with Businesses and their migrant workers to help understand the constant changes and delays to decisions by immigration, if you are uncertain please contact Jenny, our licensed Immigration Adviser firstname.lastname@example.org
Sick Leave Entitlement Update
The Government have provided the date for which minimum Sick Leave entitlements will increase to 10 days. The date this comes into effect is 24 July 2021.
How this looks for business:
- Employees will be entitled to 10 days Sick Leave at their next sick leave anniversary date following 24 July.
- Someone who’s anniversary who is 23 July 2021 would not be entitled to the 10 days until 23 July 2022 (though nothing stops employers from providing more than their minimum legislative requirements)
- Someone who’s entitlement date is 11 September and they currently have 3 days sick leave will then be entitled to their additional 10 days giving them 13 days sick leave on 11 September
- The legal minimum of carry over sick leave remains at 20 days
- If your current employment agreement states that employees are entitled to 5 days – legislation trumps agreements and you will not need to do a variation to the contract. To let staff know you could send out an email or company memo/newsletter/poster.
- It is a timely reminder to review your Employment Agreements and make sure they comply with legislation (not just leave) and if there are any clauses that may need to be added, re-worded or removed to meet your current and future business needs
What we recommend:
- Contact the People Plus team if you would like to talk about your Employment Agreements or for us to conduct a review
- Contact your payroll provider and see if they will be managing the Sick Leave change in the system or if you need to do this at your end
- Think about how you will communicate with employees if they ask about their new sick leave entitlements
We are always here! So, if you have any questions, just give us a call and we will be happy to help 😊.