Employment law

New Zealand employment law applies equally to migrants and New Zealand citizens and residents. You must offer work conditions to migrants that are no less than the legal minimums for New Zealanders.

These minimums include:

  • Written employment agreement
  • Minimum pay
  • Break entitlements
  • Annual and public holidays
  • Sick, parental and bereavement leave
  • A safe workplace
  • Accurate pay and holiday records.

If you are employing migrants, you must offer the same pay and conditions that you would offer a New Zealand citizen to do that job.

Minimum employment rights | Employment New Zealand

Build an employment agreement online | business.govt.nz

Breaches of employment standards can mean you won’t be able to recruit migrant workers

If you receive a sanction for a breach of employment standards, you’ll be placed on a list of non-compliant employers and unable to support visa applications for a set period. The list of non-compliant employers is maintained by the Labour Inspectorate and provided to us as part of a wider strategy to combat migrant exploitation.

Employers who receive an employment-standards sanction will be placed on the non-compliant employers list for a period of time commensurate with the severity of the sanction imposed. Existing migrant employees will be able to continue their employment, but you won’t be able to support any further visas or apply for employer status such as accreditation or approval in principle.

Read more about the enforcement actions and stand-down periods on the Employment New Zealand website:

Non-compliant employers | Employment New Zealand

This is in addition to immigration stand-down list maintained by Immigration New Zealand, for employers who breach immigration law. You can be stood down from employing migrants if you breach either immigration law or employment law.

Immigration law for employers