Employer Accreditation - 2022 - New Policy

Rules for being a valid accredited employer have changed. If you have a previous affiliation, then it is time for you to get your business re-accredited following the new rules.

Read This First

Before hiring migrants, businesses are encouraged to train, upskill, and hire New Zealanders. Employers who cannot find New Zealanders suitable for a job can apply for the Accredited Employer Visa (AEWV) to hire migrants.
First, you need to be accredited to prove that you are a viable company and meet immigration and employment standards. However, you don’t need to be accredited to hire migrants for other visa types (e.g., post-study or working holiday visas) or work with migrants covered by the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme (RSE).

What’s the Process?

It’s a new type of accreditation. So even if you were previously accredited under the older system, you would have to re-apply.
Every employer must comply with a minimum set of accreditation requirements.
  • Being compliant with the employment, immigration, and business regulatory standards
  • Completing activities to support the settlement of migrant workers
  • There are many types of accreditation available depending on the type of business and, in some cases, the number of migrants that you wish to hire
Accreditation will not be complicated for most employers and won’t require much documentation.
The application requires payment of a fee.

Types of Accreditation

Each type of accreditation has the exact minimum requirements. For most employers, accreditation is easy and does not require much documentation. However, additional requirements may be required for specific business models.

For Standard Businesses

There are two levels of accreditation available for standard business models, depending on the number of migrants you wish to employ.

  • Standard accreditation – If you need up to five migrant workers on any one AEWV, this is the right accreditation
  • Accreditation for high – volume workers – If you need 6 or more migrants on AEWVs at once
  • Standard accreditation and high volume accreditation have the exact accreditation requirements. In the future, additional requirements may be required for high-volume employers
Employers may pay a fee for upgrading from standard to high volume accreditation.

For Employers Using 3rd Party Agencies for Hiring

If you wish to hire a 3rd party agency for hiring accredited employers, you would still need to apply for accreditation suiting your business model. Since there is a risk involved in such an arrangement, there are some additional measures that you will need to go through.

Minimum Requirements That Must Be Met

Employers who wish to hire migrants via AEWVs must meet the minimum accreditation requirements. This is done to ensure that only those employers that meet New Zealand’s employment, immigration, and business standards are allowed to access AEWVs.
  • A viable and legitimately operating business
  • It must be functioning and feasible
  • Register as an employer with Inland Revenue

These Are the Requirements for Your Business to Meet:

  • Profitable (before depreciation, tax over the past 24 months)
  • Positive cash flow in each of the past 6 months
  • Have sufficient capital and access to external funding or investment (for instance, from a parent or founder)
  • Have a plan in place to ensure that the business is viable
  • Companies that have been in business for less than 12 months must submit evidence to support their application
Businesses that have been in operation for less than 12 months could be eligible to submit the following evidence:
  • Evidence of funding or start-up capital
  • Cash-flow and revenue forecasts
  • Contracts for work
  • GST returns
  • PAYE returns
While most employers won’t require evidence at the outset, proof may be required once you have submitted your application or during your accreditation.

You cannot be bankrupt or subjected to a No Asset Procedure if you are a sole trader or partnership.

Compliance With Immigration, Employment, and Business Standards

Your key personnel and you must not be placed under a temporary or permanent ban on hiring migrant workers.
  • If an employer violates minimum employment standards or is convicted under the Immigration Act or Crimes Act, a stand-down period or permanent ban can be imposed
  • The Labour Inspectorate keeps a list of employers subject to a stand-down for violations of employment standards
  • Certain crimes under the Immigration Act and Crimes Act can result in a permanent ban or a stand-down period
After the stand-down period is over, you must prove that you have taken the necessary steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again. This applies only to offences under the Immigration Act and not to breaches of employment standards by the Labour Inspectorate.

You or Your Key People Must Not Have:

  • Employed a migrant worker who didn’t have the visa conditions or visa requirements to work in this role
  • Furnished incorrect or false information was provided to INZ
  • Been barred from being a director

    “Before you can be granted AEWV accreditation, you must have rectified the situation and taken steps to prevent it.”

    A business that has suffered from compliance problems cannot be closed down and reopened under a new name to avoid these failures.

    Completed Employer Learning Modules

    Everyone who makes recruitment decisions must complete the most current Employment New Zealand online employer modules about employment rights.
    This includes hiring managers, human resources managers, sole traders, partners, and other professionals. This applies only to those who are involved in the hiring of AEWV holders.

    Keep Track of Each Module Completed

    You must complete the modules within each accreditation period and then finish them before the period ends.

    Costs of Recruitment

    All recruitment costs must be paid in New Zealand and outside New Zealand. This includes but isn’t limited to
    • Advertising
    • Fees for recruitment agencies
    • Employer accreditation fees Application fees for job checks
    • Trade testing
    • Tools where the employer retains ownership
    • Induction and compulsory training
    These do not include airfares for migrant workers (although some authorities may require it in certain countries).

    Fees Charged Outside New Zealand Must Not Be Charged. This Includes:

    • Payment to secure a job
    • Bonding agreements that illegally bind workers to a company are known as bonding agreements
    • Unfair or unwritten deductions

    Offer Settlement Support

    Within one month of an employee starting work, you must give information about the worker’s workplace settlement.
    • How to obtain an IRD number
    • Information and options for industry-relevant training and qualifications
    • Particular hazards in particular jobs or industries
    • Accommodation options
    • Transport options
    • Cost of living
    • How to get healthcare services
    • Citizens Advice Bureau services
    • Information about the relevant community groups
    It would help if you directed your AEWV holder to the appropriate channel like us for information about New Zealand.

    Other Elements Worth Noting

    You might want to talk to our immigration experts about the following elements that you might be exposed to:
    • Employees completing learning modules
    • Getting help with a New Zealand Business Number
    • If you are a sole trader, partner, or a trustee

    What Happens After I Get Accredited?

    Once your business gets accredited, you must conduct a job check before hiring for a profile. You are allowed to run a single job check with multiple hiring profiles. This check is done to ascertain the jobs you have with you cannot be presently filled in by local talent.
    Please note that employers pay for the job check.

    This Is What the Job Check Confirms

    • The job pays the market rate, and the wage thresholds are met under the relevant job-check pathway
    • The job terms and conditions comply with New Zealand’s employment laws and standards
    • The job requires that you work at least 30 hours per week
    • The job has been advertised to New Zealanders