Edmonds Judd

Holidays Act changes

Business briefs

Hiring migrant workers: What the new AEWV means for you

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has introduced the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) that replaces and consolidates six temporary work visas.

 

Employers must now apply for accreditation to hire migrants under the AEWV pathways by showing they are a good employer who will:

 

  • Run a viable, genuine business which meets certain financial criteria
  • Comply with New Zealand employment and immigration law
  • Commit to pay all recruitment fees, and
  • Assist the migrant with settling in New Zealand.

 

Once accredited, you (as the employer) can apply to INZ for ‘job checks’ and, in doing so, must provide evidence that:

  • You have recently advertised the role on a national job listing website for at least two weeks to determine whether any suitable New Zealand candidates exist
  • The job meets INZ’s requirements, and
  • You have provided an acceptable offer and an employment agreement to the applicant.

 

If INZ grants the job check, the relevant role must be filled within six months, or you will have to reapply. INZ will then add the relevant migrant’s details into Immigration Online and send the AEWV applicant a unique link to apply for their visa.

 

If you have any questions about the AEWV or the accreditation process, please don’t hesitate to contact us or an immigration advisor.

 

Changes to the Holidays Act on the horizon

For many employers, the Holidays Act 2003 is a constant source of frustration, especially when it comes to calculating pay for annual leave or days in lieu. Getting these calculations wrong, or failing to meet the requirements of the Act, can result in tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of penalties for serious breaches.

 

The government has signalled upcoming changes to streamline and simplify compliance, hopefully coming in 2023, including:

 

  • Annual leave payments will be calculated based on the hours in the employment agreement, or averaged over the previous 13 weeks
  • Employees will be entitled to take annual leave in advance, including during their first 12 months of employment
  • Eligibility for alternative holidays will be based on whether an employee worked more than half of the corresponding days over the previous four or 13 weeks (e.g.: if the public holiday is a Monday, the employee must work more than half of the previous four or 13 Mondays to qualify for an alternative holiday)
  • ‘Casual employee’ will be defined for the first time
  • Only casual employees will be eligible to be paid 8% ‘pay-as-you-go’ holiday pay, and
  • Employers will be required to provide pay slips to their employees each pay period.

 

These proposed changes look very promising, but the current laws will still apply to the upcoming Christmas and summer holidays. Until the changes take effect, all employers must ensure they are compliant with current law.

 

FMA review of ethical investing highlights need for improvement

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is urging fund managers to improve disclosures relating to ethical investing after a recent review found that, despite growing demand, New Zealand investors struggle to select managed funds based on ethical and socially responsible credentials.

 

Based on the review, New Zealand investors will be keen to monitor fund managers’ responses to the FMA’s recommendations. The FMA recommends that fund managers should consider the following:

 

  • Consolidating disclosures relating to ethical investment practices into an easy-to-read format that investors can easily understand
  • Clearly explaining the criteria used to exclude investing in certain companies or sectors
  • Providing better information to investors about risk and return trade-offs, and the benefits of the fund. One suggested example is to avoid using vague terms such as ‘the fund’s returns will be financial and a reduced climate impact’
  • Ensuring the non-financial outcomes are meaningful, and clearly state the consequences of failing to achieve them, and
  • Ensuring investors better understand the purpose and value of organisations providing assurance, measurement standards or endorsement, such as the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia.

 

The FMA’s review highlights the need for fund managers to provide a greater level of detail and clarity in disclosures to support their ethical investing claims. If you would like to read the review in full, please click here.

 

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