Skip to main content

Current Events and Legislative Movements

Significant changes are happening

2022 has been another year of significant changes and updates, as New Zealand positions itself for recovery from the pandemic. One of the most anticipated changes, for people residing both in or out of New Zealand, is the border fully reopening by 31st July. 

After nearly 3 years since the initial Covid outbreak, it is time to reset and rebuild our economy. It is thus important for HR professionals to be aware of the upcoming changes, and be prepared for any effects these changes will have on the way their organisation operates.

 

The New Accredited Employer Work Visa

On 4 July, the new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) will go live. New AEWV requires 3 checks: 

  • The employer check – For employers applying for accreditation  
  • The job check – To determine if the job pays the required market rates, has the terms and conditions complying with employment laws, and if the job has been advertised to New Zealanders but could not be filled (if required). 
  • The migrant worker check – For migrant workers applying for a visa 

From 23 May 2022, employers have been able to apply for accreditation, and this accreditation is now essential under the new system in order to hire migrants on AEWVs.  

The most significant and challenging component of the new system for many employers will be the high minimum income requirements. HR professionals need to get informed early and plan any changes to their recruitment strategies accordingly, as the new process will require a new cost, time, and effort investment, at least initially. 

Keep yourself updated by subscribing to the Immigration Newsletter

 

Updates on Fair Pay Agreements

The Fair Pay Agreement (FPA) system proposes bringing together employers and unions within a sector to bargain for minimum terms and conditions for all employees in that industry or occupation.  

The FPA bill is now at the Select Committee stage. The submission to the Select Committee period already closed on 19 May 2022, and the Select Committee is due to report back to Parliament in early October 2022.  

With these upcoming milestones, now is the best time to familiarize yourself with the legislative provisions. Useful resources to keep yourself informed: 

 

The New Protected Disclosure Act

The Protected Disclosures (Protection of Whistleblowers) Act 2022 replaces the Protected Disclosures Act 2000 and comes into force on 1 July 2022. It continues to facilitate the disclosure and investigation of serious wrongdoing in the workplace and provide protection for employees/ workers who report concerns. 

The changes are made to overcome a lack of clarity and some issues with the existing framework. The Act 2022: 

  • Extends the definition of ‘serious wrongdoing’  
  • Enables people to report serious wrongdoing directly to an appropriate authority at any time 
  • Strengthens protections for disclosers by specifying what a receiver of a disclosure should do  
  • Clarifies the potential forms of adverse conduct disclosers may face  
  • Clarifies internal procedures for public sector organizations, and requires them to state how they will provide support to disclosers 

With changes incoming, now's the time to update your workplace policies and procedures accordingly to reinforce the encouragement and protection of good-faith disclosures. Workplace culture, necessary training and the leadership roles should be aiming at open communication and safe working environments. 

 

Further Changes and Updates

You'll want to be aware of these updates...

Visit Employment New Zealand to keep up to date with news and changes.

 

Have you had a break?

During the pandemic, employers are turning to HR for strategic workforce planning, and employees are turning to HR for support in juggling work and personal stresses. While helping employees fight their own fatigue, you may have forgotten: HR practitioners are burnt out, too! 

“You need to put your own oxygen mask on before you help others with theirs” - HR professionals need to be aware of their own needs while taking care of their employees. Compassion fatigue - a term you may not be familiar with – is the result of helping others without replenishing yourself and getting overwhelmed by others’ pain and trauma.  

Remember to watch for the key signs of compassion fatigue, and take steps to care for yourself if you identify with any symptoms.