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Seasonal work policy strong on compliance

Seasonal work policy strong on compliance

Hon David Cunliffe
Minister of Immigration

Hon David Benson-Pope
Minister for Social Development and Employment

The government has invested heavily in compliance measures to ensure the new Recognised Seasonal Employer policy works well, say Immigration Minister David Cunliffe and Social Development and Employment Minister David Benson-Pope.

"An additional $8.9 million is being put into compliance measures over the next five years so that the new policy can be implemented well and illegal labour can be replaced by legitimate workers employed under good, well-monitored work practices," Mr Benson-Pope said.

"The additional money is a significant investment that will pay for new immigration compliance officers and labour inspectors. Staff will be in place to support the new scheme when it begins.

"There has been good support for the new policy from such diverse groups as Horticulture NZ, NZ Winegrowers, Kiwifruit Growers Inc, Pipfruit NZ, the Council of Trade Unions and Oxfam.

"The Rural and Associated Contractors Federation can be assured that the policy addresses their concerns," Mr Benson-Pope said.

Mr Cunliffe said the policy included such measures as facilitating employment, vetting, orientation, training, travel, pastoral care and departure from New Zealand, an additional resource worth around $700,000 for four years.

"It will protect employers by requiring that workers go home at the end of each season as a condition of the employer's registration status. Employers face a financial penalty if their workers overstay, as well as the possibility of revocation of their Recognised Seasonal Employer status.

"Workers have strong incentives to come back for the new season and won't risk that by overstaying," Mr Cunliffe said.

"The Labour-led government will work with industry to ensure that any operational issues are addressed quickly and effectively. Ministers are always open to discuss stakeholder concerns, preferably before issues are thrashed out through the media," the ministers said.

ENDS

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