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Sourcing Talent with Strict Border Restrictions in Place

Sourcing Talent with Strict Border Restrictions in Place

Are you concerned about being able to secure the right talent and retain those on visas?

There are many businesses in this situation. There is some good news – both in terms of net migration to NZ and extensions to essential skills visas

The good news around net migration is that:

  • There was an estimated net gain of 64,300 non-New Zealand citizens in the year ended March 2020 (Stats NZ)
  • Stats NZ says taking departures into account, net migration of New Zealand citizens for the year ended March 2020 is provisionally estimated at 7,200.
  • Stats NZ are quoted as saying:
    • “This is the highest annual figure on record”
    • “It’s a reversal of the long-standing historical pattern where more New Zealand citizens depart than arrive’”
  • Since March 2020, more New Zealander residents and citizens are choosing to return with NZ seen as a safe haven Click here
  • Alongside NZ residents and citizens, Immigration NZ is working with businesses and has introduced a critical worker application process Click here
    • This is only for skills where projects would be significantly delayed without this person’s skill set

The other good news is that essential skills visas will be extended.

The Essential Skills visa will be extended for 6 months and the stand-down period delayed if the employee:

  • Was in New Zealand on 10 July 2020
  • Holds an essential skills visa that will expire before 31 December 2020.

Immigration NZ expect this will come as a relief to many businesses and will help provide certainty about business’s ability to retain existing staff in the short term.

From 27 July 2020, Essential Skills visas will no longer be assessed using ANSCO skill levels and salary. If applicants can earn at or above the median wage they can be granted a visa for 3 years. The median wage is currently set at $25.50/hour ($53,040 per annum).

Visit NZ Immigration For more information

So while strict border restrictions are in place, net migration is positive. This means we have talent with recent overseas experience returning to the country. The extension to the Essentials Skills visa provides business continuity and Immigration NZ is looking at ways to help bring in people with critical skill sets.

If you need help sourcing talent or applying for a critical worker, get in touch with us. Positive People have over 25 years’ experience partnering with medium-sized businesses. Call us 09 445 1077 or email info@positivepeople.co.nz 

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How the NZ Immigration Accredited Employer process will work — Are you ready for the changes?

From 2021 to hire any employee on a work visa you must be an accredited employer. Accreditation under the new policy will be different from under the current Talent Accredited policy and it will have a significant impact on the pool of talent available to your business.

Current Policy – Talent Work Visa Accreditation

If you need to regularly recruit skilled overseas workers, you can consider becoming an Immigration New Zealand Accredited Employer. While you are accredited you can employ skilled migrant workers without first having to check if any New Zealanders can do the work. You must take direct responsibility for the workers you employ, for their work and you must pay a minimum base salary of NZD $79,560.

To gain Accredited Employer status for the Talent Work Visa, employers need to provide evidence that they are in a sound financial position, have good HR practices, have good workplace practices and be committed to training and employing New Zealanders.

Processing applications usually takes 2-3 months by NZ Immigration. Prior to submitting an application, employers may need to integrate a number of HR, workplace and training practices into their business.

If you aren’t an accredited employer you can still hire temporary migrant workers. However, the process for approval can take longer and you must provide more evidence to support your application.  

Future Policy

NZ Immigration recently made an announcement outlining immediate changes to the Talent Work Visa, as outlined above. In addition, by 2021, six different visa categories will be replaced by one Visa category and all employers wishing to employ a temporary migrant worker on this visa will have to become an Accredited Employer. There will be a staged process across different industries to smoothly handle what will be an avalanche of applications for accreditation. More clarity will be given in 2020 on this process.

More information can be found here.

Be prepared, get in first and win the war for talent

With such significant changes coming, there is considerable risk to your talent pipeline and business if you do hire migrant workers, so it makes sense to be prepared. Working through the accreditation process now for the Talent work Visa will help you:

  • Identify any gaps you have to fill
  • Get your visa requests processed faster and the process simplified now
  • To continue to recruit staff on temporary work visas while the changes take place, causing minimal disruption to your business
  • Get well set up to smoothly make the necessary application that you will need to submit as NZ Immigration announces the changes during the course of 2020

Positive People have especially developed and established an Accredited Employer HR Pack which covers an easy 5 step process designed to provide you with all the HR policies, documents and processes to meet the New Zealand Immigration Department Talent Visa HR requirements to become an accredited employer.

This enables employers:  

  • To understand their gaps for gaining accreditation
  • Provides templates and implementation guidelines to fill these gaps
  • Includes a follow up audit to support ongoing implementation and accreditation

Contact us now on 09-445 1077 to discuss the changes and how we can help your business be prepared for the future.