Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

More detail needed on migrant worker policy

More detail needed on migrant worker policy, big employer says

By Victoria Young

Sept. 17 (BusinessDesk) - AWF Madison Group wants to see more detail but says new immigration settings aimed to make it easier to get migrants into jobs “sound sensible”.

The chief executive of one of the country’s biggest temporary labour-hire firm, Simon Bennett, is upbeat about regulatory changes but expressed concern over how agencies would apply new policies announced by immigration minister Iain Lees-Galloway today.

In May, AWF blamed regulatory issues around redeploying migrant workers along with tough times in construction for its 60 percent drop in full-year net profit to $2 million. It said the direct cost of regulatory impediments was $1.5 million-plus lost opportunity margin.

Lees-Galloway today introduced a suite of changes that he said would benefit some 25-30,000 businesses which have skills shortages.

A new visa system replacing six categories will require employers to be accredited and aims to be less complicated than the current system.

Lees-Galloway has also said he will introduce sector agreements to have specific terms for recruiting foreign workers and reinstate the ability for lower-paid workers to bring their families to New Zealand.

He also plans to replace the existing skills bands with monetary thresholds aligned to the median wage, and the higher-paid jobs skill shortages list will be replaced and there will be open access for the regions. For jobs paying more than twice the median wage (currently $52,000), an employer won’t have to check there isn’t a New Zealander who can do it.

Speaking to BusinessDesk, Bennett said it would be interesting to see how the changes were brought into reality.

"On the face of it I would have to think that it sounds pretty sensible. But when you see businesses have to be accredited - you need to apply that policy - that will be the tricky bit. The Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation is a big and complex organisation and will have to get their ducks in a row.

“We’d just like to see a bit more detail and we are interested to see what it means. There are some good employers which have had accreditation removed,” he added.

Bennett added that the policy was sensible in the area of higher paid jobs, where he said workers, particularly in IT were asked to jump through too many hoops.

“What also scared me a tiny bit was the bullet point around sector agreements, as that's used as a synonym for fair pay agreements,” he added.

Bennett suggested the policy to bring lower-paid workers' families over to New Zealand might not be needed. “People don’t understand, particularly for migrants from the Philippines, they don’t always want to bring their families with them.”

Lobby groups including Business NZ, Federated Farmers, Dairy NZ and Horticulture NZ all welcomed the changes.

Business NZ chief executive Kirk Hope said regional New Zealand will benefit most and that industry welcomed the opportunity to work with officials on the details.

Federated Farmers also said it is confident that simpler and streamlined work-visa processes will deliver for the regions.

"Our message that workforce and related problems experienced by the big cities are not necessarily those experienced in the provinces has been taken on board - we congratulate the government," Chris Lewis, Federated Farmers employment spokesperson, said.

He said the changes will help farmers and others employ migrants when they need them.

The changes do not impact the Registered Seasonal Workers Scheme and will be slowly implemented in phases, with the last phase commencing in 2021

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Freight: New Report On Auckland Port Relocation

The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. More>>

ALSO:

Chartered Accountants: COVID-19 Fails To Knock Kiwi Investor Confidence, But More Disclosure Wanted

Three months of COVID-19 lockdown and investment turmoil has done little to knock confidence in New Zealand capital markets and listed companies with overall investor sentiment very similar to 2019, an investor survey held in mid June shows. However, ... More>>

ALSO:

Taxation: Black-Market Tobacco Sidesteps $287 Million In Excise Tax

Year-on-year increases in consumption of illicit tobacco in New Zealand have seen illegal trade swell to 11.5% of the total market. If consumed legally, illicit products would have netted the Government $287 million in excise tax during 2019. Independent ... More>>

ALSO:

Energy Sector: Meridian Spilled Water To Hike Electricity Prices - Authority Ruling

The Electricity Authority has found that generator Meridian Energy manipulated the power market, costing consumers about $80 million. More>>

ALSO:

XE Data Update: RBNZ Official Cash Rate Decision

The RBNZ will keep the Official Cash Rate (OCR) at 0.25%. T he key points in the RBNZ statement are: RBNZ keeps the OCR unchanged at 0.25% Maintain the LSAP (large scale asset purchase) at NZD$60 billion. Committee prepared to use additional monetary ... More>>

ALSO:

Electricity: Kiwis Ignore Promise Of Cheaper Power

Electric Kiwi and Flick Electric Co are joint winners of Canstar Blue’s award for Most Satisfied Customers | Electricity Providers From putting on an extra layer – rather than turning on a heater – to turning off lights and choosing the energy-saving ... More>>

ALSO:

Electricity: Transmission Pricing For A Low Carbon Future

The Electricity Authority has decided on new guidelines for transmission pricing. James Stevenson-Wallace, Chief Executive of the Electricity Authority says the new guidelines will deliver significant benefits to consumers, through lower electricity ... More>>

ALSO:

NIWA: The Climate Record That Keeps Getting Broken

Among the multitude of New Zealand climate statistics there is one record that continues to be broken month after month. Since January 2017 there has not been one month that recorded a below average nationwide temperature, according to NIWA’s seven station ... More>>

ALSO:

Govt: Extended Loan Scheme Keeps Business Afloat

Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small ... More>>

ALSO:

Science: 2019 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes Announced

The 2019 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes have been announced in a digital livestream event today. The Prizes recognise the impact of science on New Zealanders’ lives, celebrate the achievements of current scientists and encourage scientists of the ... More>>

ALSO:


RNZ: Fuel, Alcohol Costs To Go Up From Today

The increase today in the taxes on fuel, road user charges and alcohol is being called a tone-deaf move. More>>

ALSO:

Stardome Observatory: Young Kiwi Astro-Photographer Shoots For The Stars

Matariki by Josh Kirkley. The stars are aligning for up-and-coming Auckland-based astro-photographer Josh Kirkley (Kāi Tahu). During lockdown, one of his images was picked up by NASA and shared on the space agency’s Instagram to its 59.2 million ... More>>


DCANZ: Time For EU To Commit To A Level Playing Field For Trade

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) has welcomed New Zealand Trade Minister David Parker’s statement that it is unacceptable for New Zealand exporters to continue facing an ‘unlevel playing field’ in the EU. Details leaked ... More>>

ALSO:

Potatoes New Zealand: Protecting NZ Fries As Part Of PNZ Pandemic Recovery & Transformation Plan

Potatoes New Zealand has met with Minister Faafoi this week to discuss investigating the potential importation of heavily discounted frozen potato chips into New Zealand. With MBIE’s support we are undertaking an investigation to gather evidence of the ... More>>

ALSO:


New Zealand Government: Supporting Kiwi Businesses To Resolve Rent Disputes

The Government will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the COVID-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. More>>

ALSO: