Post Accreditation Checks and Accreditation Renewal - What to look out for24 November 2023
As an employer, your responsibility does not end once your business first receives accreditation by Immigration New Zealand. In fact, it only starts from there.
INZ is required to undertake post accreditation checks on at least 15% of accredited businesses in each year. However, as INZ increases its reach for conducting post-accreditation checks on businesses and subsequent/renewal of accreditation starts from mid next year, it is important that accredited businesses bring attention to what their obligations are and whether they have adhered to the declarations made in their initial accreditation application.
If you are an employer considering applying for accreditation, here are some useful tips that you should keep in mind before applying.
Requirement to provide your migrant employees with Settlement Support information in the first month
Employers that hire migrant employees on AEWVs need to provide them with information to help them settle into their lives in New Zealand. This' settlement support information' needs to be given to the employees within 30 days of them starting their employment. It should contain details about living and working in New Zealand, like:
- Cost of living and accommodation options
- Driving and driver licence information
- Public transport options
- Healthcare services
- Citizens Advice Bureau services
- Community groups
- Getting an IRD number
- Applicable industry training and qualifications
- Relevant job or industry hazards
Employers can provide all the necessary information through emails or printed materials. This is best given to the employee soon after their work visa is approved. You do not need to complete settlement support activities for the same AEWV holder if the information initially provided to them has not changed. Here is a checklist to help you plan ahead and ideas to create a welcome kit for new AEWV employees.
If INZ conducts a post-accreditation check on your business or you are applying for a renewal of your accreditation, they may ask you to furnish evidence of having provided your migrant employees with the requisite settlement information.
Requirement to provide migrant employees with paid time to complete the E-learning modules
Employers must provide adequate time during paid work hours for their AEWV employees to complete all of Employment New Zealand’s online learning modules.
These modules—there are eight in total—help migrants learn about their rights as employees and avoid potential disagreements. AEWV employees need to complete the modules within one month of beginning employment. Although employers are obligated to provide their AEWV employees with sufficient time for this, it is the employee's responsibility to complete the modules within the required timeframe. These modules should not be completed before AEWV holders start their employment. Additionally, if they previously held an open work visa or an Essential Skills Work Visa and now are on an AEWV, then they are required to complete the modules.
INZ may ask you for evidence that employees have successfully completed the modules as part of the post-accreditation check/ renewal process.
Requirement for your internal team to complete the E-learning module
Everyone who makes recruitment decisions within your business must complete Employment New Zealand’s online learning modules for employers once within every accreditation period.
A common concern is how to identify key decision-makers in the recruitment processes of a business. Let's consider a scenario where the CEO determines the salary package, HR and line managers handle interviews, and the account team manages the paperwork. It’s critical in this case that there be a clear delineation of who makes recruitment decisions in the organisation. Otherwise, everyone in the management team will need to complete the modules every one or two years. Have a complimentary chat with us to learn how we can help you establish who the recruitment decision-makers in your business are.
Mistakes to avoid at all costs
There are a lot of factors that go into maintaining your accreditation status. To ensure compliance with immigration laws, your business and key individuals in the organisation must not have:
- Employed a migrant who did not have the correct visa or visa conditions to work in that position
- Given falsified or deceptive information to INZ
- A history of immigration violations in the organisations you or your key people have been a part of
- Been prohibited from acting as a Director
- Been subject to a stand-down period
- Been permanently prohibited from sponsoring work visas
- Failure to comply with INZ's post-accreditation mandates for employers can have some serious consequences, like stand-down periods or even permanent bans.
Failure to comply with INZ’s post-accreditation mandates for employers can have some serious consequences, like stand-down periods or even permanent bans.
Staying ahead of potential pitfalls is crucial for employers post accreditation. By adhering to these best practices and maintaining vigilance, you can ensure a seamless and compliant immigration journey for your employees. For further insights, explore our comprehensive article on mistakes NZ businesses should to avoid when it comes to Job Checks and AEWVs.
We provide accreditation compliance audits for businesses and run regular webinars for employers, HR professionals, and recruiters throughout the year where we simplify immigration policies and key updates and provide handy tips to help better navigate the world of immigration.
Register here for the upcoming webinar on 12 Dec 2023 or the whole series and stay up to date with immigration policies important for your people and your business.
You can also join us for an insightful panel discussion and pre-Xmas event to hear from a panel of industry experts on "Immigration: A Sustainable Solution For New Zealand's Future?". This event will take place in Auckland at the Pullman Hotel, offering an in-person session for those in the region, and will also be livestreamed, ensuring that participants from all across New Zealand can join and benefit. Please secure your tickets through this link.