Keeping your ducks in a row: ensuring an immigration compliant workforce

As an employer, you are responsible for ascertaining that all your employees have the right to work in the role in which they are employed. Simple mistakes such as missing an employee’s visa expiry date can lead to significant negative consequences for a company. In the worst case scenario, your company may be prevented from hiring migrant workers or face formal prosecution. An employer can be fined up to $50,000 for employing a person who does not have the right to work. However, even in less serious instances, this issue can lead to considerable time and cost being expended to correct the issue.

As with most employment matters, prevention is the best cure, so setting up good systems and processes to ensure an immigration compliant workforce is highly recommended.

We set out below some top tips for HR professionals and employers in this area:

New employees:

  • Check all employees’ right to work before they start work by sighting their original passport and e-visa. Make a copy of this document, sign it, date it, and then put the copy in the employee’s HR file.
  • Carefully consider the employee’s visa conditions: Work visas often only allow the holder to work for a particular employer, in a particular location, and in a particular role. Recently awarded work visas will almost always contain minimum salary requirements as well.
  • Diarise visa expiry dates and ensure employees maintain their right to work in the role you have offered them. Set a reminder at least three months before visa expiry to raise this with employees. Make sure that before their existing visas expire they provide new evidence of their right to continue working for you and pay particular attention to interim work visa conditions.

Existing Employees:

  • Changes in employment may require a new visa: If you wish to promote an employee or change their job duties and responsibilities, their employing entity, their region of employment, or any other terms or conditions of employment, a new visa may be needed before they can change.
  • Diarise visa expiry dates and ensure employees maintain their right to work. Pay particular attention to interim visa work conditions.

Visa View:

  • Use the Immigration New Zealand VisaView Checker to confirm ability to engage in or continue employment at any time. Print off the response, sign it, date it, and place it in the employee’s HR file. Please note that this should be a secondary check, not the primary or only check undertaken.

Our team of immigration experts can help ensure your company remains immigration compliant.  Don’t take the risk – speak to the professionals today.

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