NZ Accredited Employer Process
The Accredited Employer pathway without question, makes the process easier for migrant staff to eventually gain residency. However, there are a number of hoops for the employer to jump through as well as conditions that need to be met to make residence possible.
At present it is not a requirement for employers of migrants to become Accredited. However, sometime after July 2021 this will become a requirement for ALL employers of migrants, whether you employ 1 migrant worker or 100+. EVERY employer of migrant workers needs to become accredited. INZ indicates that this applies to around 22,000 businesses in New Zealand. Only accredited employers will be able to hire a migrant worker on the employer-assisted work visa. Once established, there will be 2 main accreditation levels:
• Standard accreditation — for employers who want to hire 5 or fewer migrant workers, and
• High-volume accreditation — for employers who want to hire 6 or more migrant workers.
Currently there is only one level of accreditation available, which has a large requirement of documentation required in order to become an Accredited Employer.
In order to begin processing an Accredited Employer application, there are some initial questions to answer such as:
1) Do you have one or more staff earning $79560+ not inclusive of accommodation or other benefits?
2) Do you have records of internal training, employee handbook, HR policies?
3) Do you use an outside entity for Health & Safety matters i.e., Rural Safe or Hazard Co?
4) Do you have timesheets and pay records for all staff for the last 3 months?
While we at CCR are eagerly awaiting updates on this important change to immigration policy, there are some simple steps you can take now in order to assist the process of becoming accredited once this change takes place. There are a number of documentation requirements that we will need to begin compiling such as:
INZ Client Number
Financial statements (profit and loss, cash flow, balance sheet)
Sets of accounts certified by an accountant
HR Manager Details
Timesheets and Payslips for 3 months
Evidence of employing any staff on apprenticeship
Training records for all internal training i.e., on the job
Invoices, certificates of formal training
Dates and invoices of previous advertising
Updated Employment Agreements with relevant legislation
Health & Safety Meeting Minutes
Accountant Signed Financial Documents
Support Letter from Employer
Consent & Agreement Terms
What HR policies and processes does your organisation have?
What training does your organisation provide for your New Zealand employees?
How many current employees does your organisation have in New Zealand?
How many of your employees are New Zealand citizens or residents?
How many foreign workers are you likely to recruit in the next 12 months?
In the last 12 months, has your organisation consulted on redundancies or made any staff redundant?
Does your organisation have union representation in the workplace?
In order to satisfy Immigration New Zealand (INZ) re training, the employer needs to show a planned schedule of training with an external ITO provider in different areas of work the employee would be doing and/or pathway showing continuous training. INZ want to see that this is in place, rather than some training that may happen in the future. The provider you are using may be accredited with NZQA or they are a private training establishment (PTE) not receiving funding from the government. They could be a PTE getting accreditation from Primary ITO. There needs to be a formalised agreement for this entity as the preferred training provider.
How long does accreditation last?
Initial accreditation will last for 24 months once you have been approved and will be required to be renewed annually once after your initial accreditation period
What are the costs for you to become accredited?
The INZ Application Fees are currently $2130, with processing complete within 3 months from submission. The fees under the new system are yet to be advised by INZ, but will likely be significantly less than this for those employers with 5 or fewer migrant staff.
What happens if you don’t become accredited?
At present, there is no effect on your ability to hire migrant staff. From the date this change takes place (likely July 2021), you will not be able to hire migrant workers who are applying for an employer-assisted visa.
You will still be able to hire migrant workers who hold an Open Work visa, or Students who have work rights on their visa, or Working Holiday visa holders with relevant work rights, or migrants who are NZ resident visa holders. There are no changes to how INZ assess such migrants, because they do not need to apply for an employer-assisted visa.
The changes that are happening only affect migrants who are applying for an employer-assisted visa.
What about migrant workers who currently hold visas expiring after the new system is established?
Your current migrant workforce is not affected by the changes – their visas remain valid in line with their current conditions. When they come to apply for visa renewal, then their next visa will be processed in line with the new changes. If you recruit new migrant workers once the changes are established, then yes, they will need to be processed in line with the new changes.