If you’re a business that employs, or is planning to employ, staff from another country, you’ll need to make sure that you are complying with the minimum employment obligations and immigration law requirements.
Keeping up with your immigration and employment requirements
As Immigration New Zealand and Labour Inspectors are now armed more than ever before with pervasive statutory powers, it is important for every employer to know their obligations and to keep one step ahead.
Buying a new business?
If you are in the process of purchasing a business which already employs migrant workers, in order to continue working for the new business owners, the migrant workers may need to vary the conditions of their Work Visas. You need to factor this into your planning, as applications for variations of visa conditions can take up to two months or longer to process by Immigration New Zealand.
Remember that responsibility for a breach of visa conditions falls both on the visa holder and the employer. A breach of visa conditions can lead to serious consequences for employers.
Once a breach occurs the situation is no longer straightforward. If you think one of your employee’s may have breached their visa conditions, we strongly recommend contacting an immigration lawyer as a matter of urgency and obtaining advice on how to rectify the breach immediately.
Impact on your business
You may not realise that non-compliance with the minimum employment obligations can result in a ban on hiring migrant workers, from six months to two years. More importantly, any existing employees on work visas would not be able to secure an extension of their work visa if the visa expires during a given ‘stand-down’ period, so affected employers could stand to lose existing employees as well.
Fines for non-compliance with immigration law range from $10,000 to $50,000 for each instance of illegal employment, to $100,000 for the provision of legal advice by a HR manager without lawful authority to do so.
Penalties for non-compliance with minimum employment standards for individuals range from $1,000 to above $25,000; for companies from $1,000 to above $50,000.
Benefits of Compliance
In times like these, employers must make sure they have a proactive compliance mind-set. In the long term, this will reduce costs and will certainly position employers to move forward from being fragile to agile.
We are experts in this field and can keep you one step ahead with our comprehensive compliance audit. The sole aim of our carefully designed audit is to assist you to anticipate and avoid immigration or employment compliance related risks. We can also provide support with designing, implementing and monitoring your systems and processes to ensure compliance with your obligations as employers.
At Pitt & Moore our Immigration Team has extensive experience in all areas of immigration. As a full service law firm we have the resources to also offer any additional legal assistance.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended as legal advice. It is important that you seek legal advice that is specific to your circumstances.