This includes the majority of visas used by people working on dairy farms. The proposed changes represent a significant overhaul of the current system and follow a period of discussion and lobbying by a range of industries and organisations, including DairyNZ.
The new framework aims to simplify the immigration system by reducing the number of pathways for employer-assisted temporary work visas into one framework that includes employer, job and migrant checks – in that order. The framework would remove the essential skills in demand national lists and replace these with regional skills shortages lists.
The changes should provide more certainty for employers who meet the required standards, make for faster processing for employers hiring subsequent migrants, and provide longer-term ease and certainty. The new framework would initially require more upfront investment for most employers.
A summary of the current visa settings and the proposed settings can be found here.
The consultation period closes on 18 March 2019. DairyNZ will be making a submission on behalf of dairy farmers. We are currently working through the proposal and forming a view of the best way to submit to achieve dairy’s goals in alignment with the Dairy Tomorrow strategy, the Sustainable Dairying: Workplace Action Plan and our workforce needs.
We are now at the point where we seek your input on the following key questions:
- Do you agree that an employee should be paid at least $25 per hour to be recognised as mid-skilled?
Mid-skilled is ANZSCO level 3. Practically, this means Herd Managers and above would need to be paid at least $25 (including accommodation) per hour actually worked to be recognised as mid-skilled. This would be $65,000 per year for an average 50 hour work week.
- Under the proposed changes there is a list of requirements that every employer in NZ would need to meet before they could start the immigration process to employ a migrant. Would you be able to provide evidence that you meet these standards?
The requirements are listed on pages 39-43 of this document for both standard and premium accreditation.
- How long do you think accreditation should last for?
It is proposed that accreditation would need to be sought annually except for premium accredited employers where initial accreditation would last 12 months but subsequent renewals would last two years.
- Do you support that employers lead the visa application process and potential migrant employees are only involved once employers have been accredited and it is known that a job exists (either because there is no need to advertise it on a skills or region shortage list or because the labour market testing has been completed)?
In the proposal some of the costs of a visa application would be transferred from the migrant to the employer. An indicative range is that migrant fees would decrease from $440-$580 to approximately $300. Indicative range for employers under the proposals is $600 for standard accreditation to $2000 for premium accreditation.
- Do you support that employers rather than Immigration NZ should do the capability checks of whether a migrant is suitable for the role for which they will be employed? And that the employer should manage their own associated risks in doing this.
Please provide your feedback by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 8 March 2019. The easiest way to do this is to copy the questions and then reply with your answer to each one. Alternatively, write your response next to the correct numbered question.
To read the full consultation document or find out more details about the consultation, including how to make your own submission, visit the MBIE website.