In this issue, we look at recent Government changes to migrant visa residency pathways, unpack the latest announcement about vaccination requirements for non-citizens, and look at a recent case of immigration Adviser deception.
The Government’s October announcement that it would be fast-tracking residency for 165,000 migrants was welcomed by many on temporary work visas, but Pitt & Moore partner Nick Mason said the fast-tracked pathway would benefit some, but not all, visa holders.
The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) will be coming into play next year on 4 July 2022, replacing the Essential Skills Work Visa, as well as the Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa and the Long-Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa.
On 3 October, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced that full vaccination would become a requirement for non-New Zealand citizens arriving into the country from 1 November 2021.
Immigration lawyers work in a position of trust, often for clients with minimal understanding of the law as it relates to immigration, and sometimes limited language skills. The case outlined below highlights the obligation of advisers to be honest with their clients and with Immigration NZ.
Court of Appeal decision in Gate Gourmet New Zealand
Workers at Gate Gourmet have successfully appealed a ruling that their employer did not have to pay them minimum wage during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020 when they could not work because the company partly shut down operations.The Court of Appeal has set aside the Employment Court’s decision and reinstated the determination of the Employment Relations Authority.
Gate Gourmet was classified as an essential business during Level 4 lockdown, but as an in-flight caterer, had little work to offer its employees to fulfil 40 guaranteed hours per week of work. As such, they implemented a partial closedown and offered 80% pay with assistance from the Government’s wage subsidy scheme.
What does this mean for New Zealand employers?
At Pitt & Moore, we are proud that many of our lawyers and legal staff are fluent in their own native languages as well as many others – 12 to be exact including Dutch, German, Russian, Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu, Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, French and Italian. We also have a staff member who is a sign language speaker.
Sometimes it can be very difficult to discuss personal matters with a lawyer, however, the reason for this shouldn’t be because of a language barrier.
The ability to communicate in a native language means better support around the legal process as people seek legal advice or access to justice or have discussions concerning immigration and visa processes.
The ability to speak your language is one of the ways we at Pitt & Moore make you feel more at ease, understood and help gain your trust.