New Zealand amends work visa policy for immigrants; how will it impact Indians?

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The landscape of employment regulations in New Zealand is witnessing a significant change as the government extends its 90-day trial period for certain employment agreements. However, this extension comes with specific exceptions, affecting accredited employers and individuals under the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) programme, commencing October 29.

Exclusion of 90-Day Trial Periods for Accredited Employers and AEWV Recruits
Effective from December 11, 2023, the New Zealand Government introduced an extension of the 90-day trial periods, applying to most employers. However, this regulatory alteration does not encompass accredited employers and individuals under the AEWV. As a result, accredited employers and AEWV recruits remain exempt from these changes, retaining the ability to utilise the 90-day trial period in their employment agreements.

Caution for Employers and AEWV Applicants
For companies in New Zealand extending employment offers, caution is advised while crafting employment agreements. Implementing trial terms in these agreements might pose risks, potentially leading to the revocation of certification. Employers should be vigilant, as breaches in compliance could be uncovered during the Job Check procedure or subsequent post-decision and re-accreditation assessments.

Repercussions on Job Check Applications
Effective from October 29, any Job Check application submitted by an employer, featuring an employment agreement with a trial term, will face rejection by Immigration New Zealand (INZ). Alternatively, INZ may seek updated information or apply revised scrutiny to job checks submitted before October 29 but evaluated on or after this date.

Exceptions for Existing Job Checks and AEWV Applicants
The revised legislation does not impinge upon job checks previously approved or AEWV applications that were submitted or approved before October 29, 2023. Applicants falling under these categories will not be subject to the new regulations regarding the exclusion of the 90-day trial period.

Objective of the Legislative Amendment
This legislative adjustment aims to foster fair treatment of migrant workers by endorsed firms, ensuring positions are filled based on genuine labour demand or skill shortages. Consequently, the inclusion of trial terms in future employment agreements accompanying job check applications is prohibited.

The recent extension of the 90-day trial period in employment agreements in New Zealand marks a significant regulatory shift, signalling the government’s commitment to equitable treatment of migrant workers while maintaining a balance in the country’s labour market demands. Employers and prospective AEWV applicants are urged to align their practices with these revised regulations for compliant and seamless recruitment processes.

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