NZ to offer more protection to migrant workers

New Zealand’s Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse has announced new measures to stop employers who breach immigration and employment law from recruiting migrant workers.

“Migrant workers make a valuable contribution to our workforce and have the same rights as any other worker,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“It is simply unacceptable that those employers who exploit migrant workers are still able to recruit from the international labour market and disadvantage those employers who do the right thing,” the Minister continued.

“That’s why the Government is introducing stand-down periods during which time employers who flout the law will be banned from recruiting further migrant workers. Employers who have incurred an employment standards-related penalty will be banned from recruiting migrant labour for defined stand-down periods ranging from six months to two years, depending on the severity of the case.”

Published guidelines and criteria will ensure that stand-down periods are applied fairly, consistently and transparently.

“Access to the international labour market is a privilege, not a right and if employers abuse that privilege by exploiting migrants or failing to comply with employment law, there will be consequences,” Mr Woodhouse says.

The changes will come into effect on 1st April 2017.

Article published 24th February 2017