Employer policy seminar video — Changes to the employer-assisted temporary work visa system

View a webinar for employers that we hosted on 21 November 2019 (91 minutes). We explain the changes and answer employer questions about the new policies.

This is a Video(91 minutes)

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[Introduction from Dean Jervis]

Good morning everybody, welcome to the seminar immigration. We're going to talk you through the changes to the employer assisted temporary work visa system, just before we get started I thought I would just point out that, you've probably noticed a few cameras and camera crew at the back of the room, so the reason for that is this event is actually being live streamed, so we've got around 1500 other people online streaming this in from all around the country, those for people who are unable to get to one of the live events, in fact we've got people from all around the world here so, welcome to you all. So we will refer to you as the live audience, and we'll refer to our online audience as the online audience. Just a couple of housekeeping matters for the live audience, if you haven't noticed already bathrooms are to the left, just out the door and hook a left, and they're at the end of the hall, and from an evacuation point of view if there is one required, again out the door you came in and we just mingle over on the grass sort of area that you is away to the left. The seminar is scheduled for 90 minutes, the content that we will deliver is going to be 60 ish, and that should leave plenty of time at the end for questions. You will get a copy of the slide deck sent to your email, and for the online audience the same applies to you, and along with that a short survey we ask you to just fill in and let us know what you thought about how these all work. We're very fortunate that we have Sian Roguski whose going to actually take you through the content, and I say fortunate because Sian heads up the, manages the immigration policy team, so she has worked or her and her team, have worked fearlessly over the last wee while. I'll have, Sian can talk you through this in a little bit more detail, but Sian works very closely with the government and what the objectives they're trying to achieve, through immigration policy and obviously with the market through consultation with employers, so quite a balancing act from her perspective, but the great think about having Sian do the presentation today, is A) you'll get the information you need and how it impacts on your business, but also you'll get a lot of context around why we've come to these policy decisions. In regard to questions, Sian gets in a real flow, so we don't want to disrupt that, so when it comes to questions if you can just hold off to the very end, often questions that are asked on the way through, the information comes up later in the presentation anyway, so there is plenty of time at the end for your questions to the live audience, for our online audience, slightly different we've got a team of experts sitting back in our head office, who will be able to respond to any questions if they want to tap away on their keyboards, so you can check in with that team, just say hi if you like, but they should be up and ready now. Obviously there's 1500 or so of you, so there's only a few of them, so just be patient when it comes to responses. Alright so Sian the floor is yours, welcome.

[Sian Roguski]

Excellent, that sound seems to be ok, yeah and you've got to love a dress with pockets, the women out there, so I'm just going to tuck this away, so tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa, ko Sian Roguski aho, as Dean mentioned my name is Sian Roguski I manage the immigration policy team at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and it is my great pleasure to be here, because as he mentioned my team we've been living and breathing this for the last couple of years, so we've been working with the government when they came in, to develop the set of policies, but just to give you a flavour of what we do, do I've got responsibility for policy settings across the whole of the immigration system, so essentially if it's about a non New Zealand citizen, crossing a border we're interested in making policy settings around that, so for the last couple of years been a really busy time for us, we've been doing everything, I'll talk to you in detail about this work, we advise on the end to end immigration process, from selection, attraction, settlement right through to border settings and meeting our international obligations under international instruments, so that's had us leading work and advising on things like the increase for the refugee quota, the introduction of the electronic travel authority, things like the parent policy, other residents policies and this wee baby, changes in reforms to the temporary work visa system, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to take you through the set of slides, it's sort of in two different main areas, I'm going to start off with a bit of the context that Dean mentioned, why is the government doing this, what kinds of outcomes are they seeking to achieve, how has that structured the set of decisions that they're taking, and the further design that we'll be doing over the next sort of year and a half. So I'll do that, and then the second thing is I'm going to take you into some deep dives about actually what this new system is, and how it works. I'm going to particularly take you through to a dive around the new employer accreditation standards that'll be coming in, and I'm also going to take you through in a bit more detail, as well around this thing that we call the job check, it's a little bit jargony at the moment, but it will kind of make sense I hope when explained along the way. Now I promise you I am going to give you as much detail as I can on this, because I know that is top of your minds as employers. There is a caveat that comes along with that, because and you'll see with the implementation timeframes, we are still doing some of the more detailed design around it, so I'm giving you as much information I can, I will be honest if you ask me a question about something detailed, we may not have the answer to that alright, so this is the start of a conversation with us, with immigration, with you as employers and other users of the system to make sure you understand kind of what's coming up. So I thought maybe just before I kind of kick on, I'd just kind of take you back about a couple of years, so when the government did come in, one of the things they said, and they said we would like some advice around how we can make our immigration system, which to be honest feels a bit sort of one size fits all ish, into something that actually can better respond to the needs of particular sectors, or the needs of regions, how can we make it, how can we sort of distinguish that, so you know as public servants we responded to that challenge, provided some advice, welcome come on in, and as we did that, we could also reflect the things that we had heard from you as employers, around how you use the system, your pain points, a lot of really rich information from operational colleagues in Immigration New Zealand, about what it's like for them to run and work the system, and that actually sort of broadened out, and the government said yes, actually we might be up for a bit more of a fundamental change, so rather than doing the tinkering of the edges, is there a way for us to think about just how we do this differently. So that led off to a set of proposals that were released by the government in December of last year, they asked us to do the consultation on their behalf, so in March that consultation finished, and we got over 950 responses, so thank you very much if you provided input into that, a lot of great stuff came back that we then took onboard, and provided further advice, and then we land into this space, so back in September the Minister of Immigration, announcing the set of reform, so that's a little bit about where we've been. Alright so back to those outcomes, what fundamentally is the government seeking to achieve through this set of changes, well this little colourful diagram kind of sets it out.

Six different outcomes, I'm going to take you through them, so the first one I've got there in the top blue, ensuring that temporary workers are only recruited for genuine shortages, we are in a very particular labour market at the moment, near to being record low unemployment, we know that there's always going to be a role for migrant workers in our workforce, and when we think about this in terms of policy terms, we divide those shortages into two different types, often we talk about skills shortages, and then the other kind of type, equally important are labour shortages, so skills shortages, recognising that actually it's quite a long time, for some occupations to be trained up and filled by New Zealanders, you know and some of our occupations it takes 7+ years to train someone up, so we know at any one time we're actually going to need people from outside to come in, there are spill over benefits for firms we see when those people come in, training and up skilling other New Zealanders, skills shortages, takes a long time to grow, systems can be slow to move and invest. Labour shortages equally important but these are jobs typically that we see, don't quite take as much time to train people up, equally as important because when I'm talking about, you know talking to a kiwi fruit farmer, in the agriculture sector, they say we need someone right now to pick the fruit off the trees, because otherwise that fruit is rotting, and that is lost revenue, so obviously a need to fill those shortages as well. We want to make sure that they are genuine shortages.

The second is, and this is the kind of tightrope balancing act, at the same time we want to make sure that the incentives are in there, for employers to train and up skill New Zealanders, where they're available right, and this is the balancing act, because what we see when we look at data and looking across countries, is that a steady flow of migrant workers, potentially has the impact of decreasing those incentives on employers, migrants might be more attractive, potentially increases the risk that wages and conditions in a particular sector, or a set of occupations can come down as well, so that's our constant balancing act. In the light blue there I've got create better connections between the immigration, the education and skills, and the welfare systems, now the reason that those three come together, is because essentially those are the different systems that produce the labour market that we draw on in New Zealand, whether it's through a domestic worker, or through a migrant worker, and one of the things that we have seen is actually our immigration system kind of operates out here, by itself and doesn't really hardwire links into those other systems, so to give you an example, our skills shortages list that we've been running for a number of years, and you're probably familiar with, when an occupation gets put on that list, it does nothing to actually to send a signal to our education system, tertiary, secondary that this is a shortage, and that we should be looking to gear investment to those areas, so really success out of the system is hardwiring those connections in, and if you've got those three working at the top, you essentially have that red box happening, which is that you as employers, get the workers you need, skills shortages, labour shortages, and you're accessing that from both immigration, imported labour, but also from the domestic supply as well.

In the purple box there I've got reduce exploitation of temporary workers, now generally I'm pretty much guaranteed whenever I'm doing these presentations, and talking directly to employers, they tend not to be the folk in this camp, and it is a sad fact unfortunately that in New Zealand, we do have employers who will look to exploit their workers, New Zealand workers but migrant workers with particular vulnerabilities as well, and in our immigration system, believe it or not we actually have very few tools and levers to screen those employers out. We want to screen them out because obviously exploitation is bad for the worker, but it's actually bad for employers as well, because employers are finding themselves on an uneven playing field, competing with other employers, who aren't paying the right amount, who you know cash for jobs, how do you compete with that, if you're a good employer and actually paying proper wages and conditions, we want to screen them out. There's more to be said about this, and at the moment the government is consulting on a wider set of changes around combating migrant exploitation. I'll take an opportunity perhaps just to touch on that at the end, but a real theme for this particular government, taking action there, and then I keep meaning to sort of make the bottom one in neon actually, I've got there make the system easier to navigate, it's one of my personal faves, because in the system can you believe it that there are currently six different visa categories, or pathways that essentially end up with a visa being issued for an employer-assisted work visa, six, ok so what we're going to do is bring that down to one, and that's what this set of reforms does, but we also took the opportunity that while we're doing that, looking at where the heck do we just do processing, where we don't need to do processing, where do we see this constant swirl, this to and fro, so when I think about that, and it does unpack into three different things, the first very much is about taking out unnecessary processing steps, so I'm talking about processing steps that don't really end up changing the decision about whether a visa is issued, doesn't really end up changing an outcome for a New Zealand worker, for example when we do the check with MSD, that just ends up being loaded into processing costs, that at the end of the day people have to pay through a fee, taking out unnecessary processing costs where they don't add.

The second thing particularly for migrants, is about making their pathways clearer, when people are making a decision to come to New Zealand, perhaps for 3 years they might be thinking about bringing their family with them, they need to know from the outset, what is the likelihood that their role, their job might have a pathway to residence, so they can make good choices, but also you as employers know where you stand, that if you want this migrant, to kind of have that pathway, what is it that you might be needing to offer in terms of a job, so making those pathways clearer. The last thing to unpack from that is, it's actually quite a fundamental change because when we looked at the system, we asked the question of actually who is the customer, at the end of the day, and at the moment our whole entire immigration system is set up as a migrant being the applicant, a migrant being the customer, and when we looked at this set of visas, we thought well actually it all originates from the point of an employer having a vacancy, an employer wants to fill that vacancy can't find a New Zealander so looks to fill that with a migrant, so perhaps actually the employer is a customer of the system in a way that we don't recognise yet, and so when you start to bring in that mindset, you begin to think quite differently about how you orient the system, and with an employer as a customer, it brings out questions like how do we provide a service to you, that meets how you work, and meets your needs. I will tell you more about that.

Alright so that's my context for you. Ok so you would have heard about these announcements, you'll no doubt be thinking oh my God what's happening, what's happening when, there is one key message I want you guys to take away, nothing yet, ok there is nothing you need to do differently right now, these changes are going to be phased in, phased in, in three tranches ok, and I'm going to be going through this in detail, but this is the diagram which kind of sets out pathway. First phase, there is actually one change that has been implemented, it was implemented back in October, and generally it's quite useful for me to get a bit of a flavour of those in the room, sorry online audience, how many of you here are currently accredited employers, under the policy that we have now? Oh heaps of you ok, cool so there is a change, will affect you for migrants that you're going to be employing in the future, but I'll tell you more. So that is the first tranche that has happened. Then you'll see we've got a range of changes that are going to be happening in mid 2020, mid 2020 means July 2020, that's what we're planning for. I'll talk to you about those in detail, and then finally in 2021, we'll be popping the corks because actually that is when this whole system will be stood up, and I'll tell you a little bit about what that's going to look like as well. But nothing that you need to do differently right now. Perhaps just a bit of thinking with the information that you get from this seminar, thinking and planning, thinking about your business and how this will come in, but nothing specifically.

Ok so let me take you through that in more detail, now I just see 2019 so this is the change that has happened, so those of you who are accredited employers, no doubt you'll be well aware that a policy exists where your worker can be issued with a work to residence temporary visa, and they needed to satisfy a salary threshold of $55,000 in order to qualify that, and providing they kept that salary throughout, in 2 years time they'd have work for residence. Now that policy is changing, but any of your workers who are currently in that space, nothing has changed for them, they will continue on their visa, providing they meet that $55,000 threshold they will qualify for that at the end of the day. But if you are looking to bring in new workers, from the 7th October, they will be subject to a higher salary rate, let me give you a bit of context about why that changed, because we hear why has it gone up by so much, and why did you do it so fast, so a few points on that, so this is a policy that $55,000 threshold dates to about 2008, we are in 2019, and when that $55,000 threshold was set, that was reflective of a role that was an exceptional skill, it was a highly paid role, and that salary threshold was not indexed, so quite frankly it just doesn't match a salary of that kind of job today. It's an important policy, this work to residence policy, because the other option of course for those of you who are familiar, is the skilled migrant category, but I'd say there is a safety valve in this policy, and it's how I describe it about, thinking about how square pegs fit in round holes, because in skilled migrant category you collect points, and you can apply for residency across a range of factors like your age, your qualification, your income and what we were finding in that policy, is actually there were some really high flying occupations and people, that would tend to fail on that set of tests, particularly because of the qualification element, and if I give you an example I'm thinking of like, IT specialists a number of people of whom we employ in Wellington, where actually you know how we monitor qualifications and the evolution of qualifications, we have no hope of keeping up with in the immigration system, so this was a policy to enable them to fit in, but at $55,000 it's not reflective of those kind of jobs, and so what that has shifted up to is just shy of $80,000, which is 150% of the median wage, more reflective of a higher paid of that kind of role, and there is some equalisation there to our skilled migrant category, so being able to recognise the kind of people that might just get pipped at the post through SMC, but still have a mechanism for coming through. This is a policy which will be disestablished in 2021, but we will still have a work to residence policy through this set of changes ok, so you can still bring people in through this, if they're employed after the 7th October they will need to meet that higher salary threshold, and I'll tell you about what's going to happen from 2021 when I get to that bit.

Ok, aha so this is the first of our set of changes that are coming in, in mid-2020, so that's July 2020, we do have a current policy that's been in place since 2017, which meant that lower-skilled, which is a particular definition, lower-skilled worker would not be able to support their partner, or any dependent children if they had them on their visa. Government has decided to reinstate the ability for those workers to be able to do that, so from July 2020 providing, so for workers who are earning under the median, they will be able to support a partner, they will be able to support a dependent child, ok. Essentially what that means is that for their child, they issue a student visa, they are treated like a domestic student in our primary and secondary schooling, so essentially that's a free education for them, when they hit tertiary they are treated as international students, the will need to pay international student fees, that's no different than currently we have, and if they're a preschooler they don't attract the government subsidy for early childhood education. What hasn't changed at all is if people are earning above the median, they've always been able to support their partner and worker and bring that in. There is one thing I should mention, it's been our existing policy since year dot, but that in order for someone, a worker to support their partner or child, they do need to meet a minimum income, and that's $43,000 currently, that's a setting that we bring in from the welfare system, because essentially we look to see what the sort of commensurate benefits are, that New Zealanders would have, and go actually we recognise that in New Zealand, in New Zealand you need this income to support a family, if you don't you know benefit system kicks in, we import that into the immigration system as well, so they do need to be earning a minimum income, that is indexed, it moves with whatever changes happen in the benefit system, and that's been something that's been in place for a while.

Ok what else, again there's a lot of personal favourites in here, one of my big personal favourites is from July 2020, ANZSCO gone, ANZSCO will bear no impact on immigration decision making for temporary, for employer assisted temporary work visas. Currently we are working in a system that uses both ANZSCO classification, Australia New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, and income, and with a mix of those it splits people into three groups, higher skilled, mid skilled, lower skilled. Probably unsurprisingly what it means is a lot of discussion to and fro between employers and Immigration New Zealand, haggling over which ANZSCO classification is what, and to be honest this is kind of at the heart of some of that unnecessary processing, so the government has decided from July 2020, to move to a much simpler salary threshold, the salary threshold will be set at the national median, and so a job will either pay above it, or below it, we will still want to collect that ANZSCO information from you, because it's so important for people like me that need to form advice, and monitor and see what's happening in the system, but it will not bear any, it will not have any bearing on the decision making, your job will either be above the median, or below the median. Now currently the median is around about $52,000, it's just gone up actually, $52,000-54,000 salary, if you break that down into an hourly rate around $25.00-$25.50, so clearly set at that your job is either above, or your job is below ANZSCO will not play any role in there.

Now, I do like my colleagues at Statistics New Zealand, and the Australian Statics Bureau, so MBIE and Immigration New Zealand does not own ANZSCO, as much as we all hate it, we are not able to change it, that is jointly owned by our Statistics New Zealand and also the Australian Bureau, and we have been talking with them for many, many years about would they review, the ANZSCO system because we know, you've been telling us there are new roles, new occupations that have been created that are currently not in ANZSCO, we know that a number of roles in ANZSCO have increased the qualifications and become higher skilled, and so we've been talking to them for a while, about doing that refresh and they weren't in a position to do it, because it meant New Zealand had to agree with Australia and that wasn't happening, but then to all of our surprise actually, they did do a little bit of a refresh, and what they did, their refresh centred on the existing occupations that are in ANZSCO, and looking at seeing whether or not any of those had increased their skill level, so particularly looking at ANZSCO 4-5 and seeing whether or not they were moving up to ANZSCO 1-2-3. There are some occupations which have moved from 4-5, to 1-2 and 3, more information on the immigration website, so you can go in and have a little look to see if that's any occupations that you employ into. So that was great, we're like well yay they have done a refresh, and we have been asking for a while, slightly awkward because we're moving away from ANZSCO come July, so what the government has decided, to make sure that no one is worse off in the interim, if the job has moved from a 4-5, to a 1-2 or 3, and that job pays above the median, that job will be treated as a higher skilled job. So that enables us to kind of look through, given that we're getting rid of ANZSCO, if it was one of those jobs being paid above the median, we'll bring it through so no one is worse off, so do have a look at the immigration website just to see if that's any of yours.

Alright, overview of the changes, now I love this diagram because I've been living and breathing this literally for the last 2 years, and when I put it up people are like, what the heck is that, this is my little road map and it's what I'm going to use to take you through, exactly how the new system will work, but one of the things, a couple of things I just want to say upfront, so I'm going to be talking a lot about employer assisted temporary work visas, ok because it's that set of visas that these reforms apply to, you may in your businesses be employing people on working holiday schemes, for the RSE the Recognised Seasonal Employers out there, you may already be bringing in workers on them, you might be hiring students, you may be hiring partners of workers who have open work rights, all of those visas are outside the scope of this set of changes, so I'm going to remember as best I can to use that word employer-assisted temporary work visa, which doesn't really roll off the tongue, but I'll do my best because I just want to remind you of the scope that this is the set of the visas I'm talking about.

Ok so my little road map, and the why, why are we doing this road map, well just let me give you a little bit more context again, because in this set of work visas, the government has looked to put the settings, to manage two kinds of risk that we could see could eventuate when you bring someone in on one of these visas, the first is what we call a regulatory risk, so this is that risk that someone comes in, migrant workers, particularly at lower incomes, quite vulnerable, and that an employer could potentially exploit them, regulatory risk that minimum standards are not met, minimum immigration standards, minimum employment standards, minimum standards within any law that is specific and relevant for that particular interest ok, so that is regulatory risk, want to manage that sucker. The other risk that I talk about, is what we call labour market risk, so this is that risk that can eventuate particularly if there's a large inflow of migrants, that that could have a dampening effect in the labour market, on wages and conditions, and reducing those incentives of employers to employ New Zealanders, so two kinds of risk we're managing, and we set the system up to manage both kinds, but not to over manage, to make sure that we're managing that in the right place ok, so two kinds of risk, and in the system it means that we're going to have three checks, or three gates, you guys as employers are applicants for two of those, you're an applicant for the employer gateway, the employer check, this is a check for us to make sure, largely wholly to manage regulatory risk, that you're an employer that we want to let in the door, and that we think yeah actually clean bill of health, you can employ a migrant worker under here, employer gateway, employer check, I'll talk more about it.

The second is what we call the job gateway, or the job check, this is a bit more about, this is where we're mainly managing that labour market risk, we want to check that job and make sure, that there's no New Zealander available, the job is genuine and not some immigration rort, and that it's offering the kind of terms and conditions that are commensurate, with New Zealand values and conditions that we have here, job check. You're an applicant for the first two of those, employer check, job check, then we've got the migrant gateway, so this is where the migrant is the applicant, it's the last step in the check, this is the check for Immigration New Zealand to make sure that the person that you are bringing in, has the right kind of health standard, you know no security issues, that type of thing, very similar to you know what happens now, so that's my little map, because I don't go in detail about some of this stuff, I do just want to draw your attention to what I've kind of put at the side, so on the left hand side there you'll see assurance and verification, and arrows going across the system, so this is recognising that in the system, and particularly where we're taking our unnecessary processing, we need a sophisticated assurance and verification model, for Immigration New Zealand, they're going to be working away in the background ok, and kind of checking things, we might do some light checks up front, they obviously need to make sure that you know things are, things are hunky dory, really important part of this.

The second that I've got on the right hand side, is something that's called regional skills leadership groups, I think we specialise in these long names, or RSLGs, this is something that has been established through the recent reforms the government announced to the vocational and education training system, Regional Skills Leadership Group, they are groups that are being set up on a regional basis, they are putting an employer voice, understanding for that region, what you know what's the workforce, what's the labour sort of market plan for that region over the next little while, what kind of jobs do we need here, ok with that in mind are we investing in the right education, how are we going to bring immigration into the mix, we're going to be feeding information into them, and they're going to be providing rich information to the immigration system, about where we do need to import workers to fill the gaps, so that's a very important bit. Now I realise that that sort of kind is theoretical and a bit kind of up in the air, so I just want to take the opportunity to give you a bit of a feel, about given that you'll be customers for two of those checks, how is that going to work you know, so those of you who are accredited, and support workers through this, you'll know there's this thing called the employer supplementary form, paper based, believe it or not it just gets PDF'd so it means people like me, it's really hard to get information out of that, and think about how to develop policy, obviously if we use that across the system, the system would break, quite frankly system would break, that is not in Immigration New Zealand's interest, and it's obviously not in your interest, so part of the reason why this is 2021, is because there is an IT build, that is being developed and will be rolled out absolutely to underpin this, now I'm not an IT specialist, but kind of donkey deep in the business case for this at the moment, that's looking a lot like being built off a CRM, Client Relationship Management, so something like an online portal, so scrap all that paper based stuff, we're talking about a system which you are directly able to put in your details, lodge stuff, you can update things, you know you don't need to come back to Immigration New Zealand or other government systems, time after time saying I've already provided this, that will hook into other systems as well, by using the New Zealand business number we'll be able to draw information from other parts to do checks, this is the bit I'm pushing my colleagues on, I also think it should be able to kind of give you a bit of an update, or you should be able to check in about where an application might be at, you know because there's that black box, I've submitted this, I haven't heard about it, you know for Immigration New Zealand, it's a must do because they need to understand you as employers, for that insurance and verification, they need to be looking at patterns, understanding oh actually something kind of looks a little bit weird here, so I might just direct a bit of activity, rather than having to just scatter seeds in the wind, and kind of make a guess alright, so that's about how that's going to look and feel. Immigration New Zealand quite keen to road test that, and sort of use employers as guinea pigs, so I know that they're getting that up and running.

Alright so deep dive employer check, first gateway what is this about, remember what I mentioned earlier, managing regulatory risk predominantly, alright so we have designed three different types of accreditation, which are sort of targeted to you employers, as users of the system, alright I'm going to talk to you about each in detail, but essentially we're hitting off these main points, providing you with certainty as an employer, about whether or not you can use the system, screening out the bad eggs, so strengthen standards, more weight on compliance, building a picture of an employer over time, creating that relationship with you, reducing the risk of exploitation, and making sure that Immigration New Zealand can put those resources around compliance into where it actually matters, alright ok so I'm going to go through each of the three accreditation standards, the first one I'll kick off with is what we're calling standard accreditation.

So this is about 22,000-25,000 employers, employers that to be honest Immigration New Zealand has never directly kind of engaged with, unless maybe through a call centre or something like that. These guys here, employers in this group they account for about 60% on last year's stats, about 60% of these visas that are issued. Now this employer accreditation is for you, if you as an employer hire 5 or less employer assisted temporary workers, ok we're not counting your working holiday schemes, we're not counting your RSE workers, we're not counting your partners of workers, we're not counting your students, employer assisted temporary workers, ok so this is where what you can do over this next period of time, is think is that me or is that not me, am I 5 or am I less, what might you do in a 12 month period, ok if you're going to be doing 5 or less this is you, and we're going to be focussing this on a light touch screen, ok a light touch screen looking for regulatory risk, let me give you a little bit of a feel about that, so what might those standards look like, so this is part of our continued build, we're doing more policy work, and I've got colleagues in here who'll be doing this, policy work on really defining that, but we've got some good ideas, so I want to give you the feel of that. First of all, when we think about an employer, we're going to check that they are a genuine business with a financial presence, i.e. they're not just some made up kind of thing on paper, and there are a lot out there, don't want those guys, and we are going to be looking at the key office holder, so proprietary owners, directors those who have that day to day involvement in managing of the business, we want to look at them because we want to be asking you, and so imagine an online portal, we're going to ask you a kind of series of questions that you sign up to, you're either yes or no, ok so these are the kinds of things that we're going to be asking you. Are any of those key office holders on the employer stand down list, if the answer to that question is yes, you are screened out, if the answer is no, all good. Are those key office holders compliant with any relevant industry specific or other regulatory standards, so I'm thinking for example like companies office law etc, if they're non compliant, sorry screened out, if you are compliant perfect, we love that. Do any of those key office holders have a history of non compliance, with the immigration system, ok so these kinds of things, do any of them have convictions under the Immigration Act? Sorry screened out. Have we found any of them, to be providing false information to Immigration New Zealand? Sorry if the answer is yes we're screening you out. Have we ever found that you have employed unlawful workers? If yes sorry screened out. Have we ever found that you haven't paid the wages that you promised in a contract? Sorry screened out.

Light tough, employer portal, quick, updating information so you kind of get the feel right, get the feel, very different from the current policy, hey very different. We're also going to ask you to do something else, which is about sort of again in that flavour of reducing exploitation, colleagues in Immigration New Zealand produced this beautiful awesome material, targeted to migrants about their employment rights, tips for how to settle in New Zealand, and kind of getting into the community, they produce it, it's glossy, it's beautiful, it's useful, we would like you to provide it to your migrant worker, ok so we're going to be asking that, you don't need to make it up, we've already done it, we just want you to get it out there, ok this is what their standard accreditation looks and feels like alright, believe it or not, that will screen out employers, I doubt people in this room but it does screen out employers. Now you're probably thinking alright you know never had to do that before, how much is that going to cost, well look we have been working through the modelling on fees, and will continue to do so as we get down into the processing side of things, but a word on fees, Immigration New Zealand under our legislation, is not allowed to charge for anything other than what it costs to process something ok, so we do quite a lot of modelling on how much time does it take to do this, and that and then we kind of add it up, so cost recovery only, not seeking to make a profit, not cross subsiding other kind of visa types alright, so when we do that modelling, these are estimates ok, we're looking at the standard of accreditation for an employer as an applicant, costing in the range of about $550-600 ok, that accreditation is going to last you 12 months, and then providing you've still got your clean bill of health, you're reaccredited it's going to last you 2 years, people say why is it only 12 months to start off with, and it's because this is quite a light check right, and we've never dealt with these employers before, we do actually want to come back in 12 months, and make sure that yes indeed they're not lying to us and things like that, so 12 months then 2 years, you pay it then reaccreditation easy. Have any of your details changed, have you by any chance committed any of those offences, we'll obviously be using our system to check that.

That's standard accreditation ok very different from the current system. That might not be you, when I asked that question about how many people you expect to employ on employer assisted temporary work visas, you may have said oh no I have about 10 or 20 or more in a 12 month period, so we'd be looking to you, to be what we're calling a high volume employer, and you'd be applying for a high volume accreditation, alright this is made up of two different things, it's all of the regulatory risk stuff that I just talked about on the standard accreditation, but it's also doing a little, little bit of management on that labour market risk side of things as well, and I'll tell you about what that looks like. Ok so you'll be doing everything I've already spoken about in terms of answering those questions, I hope that won't screen you out, but we will also ask you to make some commitments in two areas, the first area will be your commitment around training and up skilling New Zealanders, your commitment about nudging and increasing and improving the wages and conditions of your jobs over time, ok now one of the things that we heard overwhelmingly through consultation as I went out and talked to different industries, is obviously employers are not one size fits all, you've got the small operations, you've got the massive ones, you've got the ones that have the huge HR departments, these commitments need to make sense for you as an employer, and for us they need to set actually, you know a reasonable standard accreditation, something that is meaningful and that will make change, otherwise it is just processing for processing sake, and we don't want any of that, so let me give you a little bit of a feel about what meeting those commitments, or the things that you could commit to might look like ok. These are examples, where working it through further, we'll be talking to employer groups to kind of test and kick these ideas.

Alright, so me as an employer, how might I demonstrate my commitment to training and up skilling New Zealanders, ok so one of these things might be you, right for example it may be that you put your staff through work relevant formal education, that leads to an NZQA qualification, might be you, might not be you. It might be that you have taken on an apprentice in the last 2 years, might be you, might not be you. It might be that you actually provide a structured in house training program, like cadetships or management programmes, might be you, might not be you. It might be that you engage fully in industry and sector training schemes, it might be that you've got your own graduate or internship scheme or program, or it might be that you demonstrate you spend a certain percentage of your payroll on the training of your staff, a meaningful commitment but one that can fit with different types of employer circumstances ok, this is what we're working through, that's on one side. How might you as an employer demonstrate your commitment to improving and increasing the wages and conditions of your jobs over time, could be one of these things. It might be that when we look across your industry, and that you're part of an industry which has a representative body, and does a survey of wages, it may be that you're paying above that, or you're moving to pay above that. It might be that you're a certified living employer, alright it may be looking at your payroll records over time, and seeing how they're kind of shifting and changing. It might be that you're actually hardwired into a collective agreement, that's been negotiated, and obviously that collective agreement will set out what wages will be over time, that's going to work, we're not going to replay that. You may not be part of a collective agreement, that's also ok. It may be that you show that you're increasing your wages in line with changes in the median wage over time, so we're working it through but it's those kinds of things, recognising those different personalities of employers, but making it a meaningful commitment. Ok so for you in this space, we're expecting when we do our modelling, that accreditation around about kind of in the $800, so I'm talking about accreditation that's less than half of our current accreditation policy, it's a different policy and people have said to me Sian why did you call it accreditation, the current policy's called accreditation its terribly confusing, and all I can say is this is a role for Immigration New Zealand to accredit you, so I've got to call it accreditation, but quite a different policy ok.

Now there is a third type, could be you, I couldn't see any labour hire firms in the room, I didn't think but there may be, this accreditation at the moment is being called labour hire accreditation, kind of does what it says on the tin, which is it's for labour high companies, about 50 of these firms that we expect, but really at its heart is a recognition that there are some kinds of business models, that when we look deeply at them, kind of have potential risks in a way that others don't around exploitation, so tend to have an arm's length relationship between the employee and the employer, and in those situations that's where vulnerabilities present themselves, so this accreditation model is about taking all of that standard check that I mentioned, it's also about taking the high volume stuff, but we will do a few more checks around that regulatory risk, stuff that we don't think we need to do for all firms, but things that we do need to do for firms of this type. So labour hire at the moment but we've got an open mind, potentially you know franchising models for example, sometimes we see that come out as well, so what we'll be looking at for example, is that firms in this camp will need to demonstrate that they have a history of contracts for the supply of labour, that includes New Zealanders, i.e. they're not solely set up just to wash migrant workers through, we're going to check that. We're also looking to make sure that they only contract their migrant labour out to employers, who are compliant with minimum standards, ok and we're going to make sure as well and look to see that they have good systems in place to monitor employment and safety conditions on site, for where we're putting people. So this accreditation when we do the costing of that, you're probably looking in the realm of $1000, more checks need to be done, so that's a bit more cost, also in here Immigration New Zealand will do some more on site verification, so at times they will also be going out and checking conditions on site as well.

Ok deep dive, how are you going? So that was my deep dive on accreditation, you guys are the applicant for that, if you get the clean bill of health, you'll be looking for a job check at some stage, so this is where you have a vacancy that pops up, and you're looking for any New Zealand workers, looking but perhaps to hire a migrant worker in, now this has been re-geared to bring in that recognition, of industry and sector difference, to also bring in recognition of differences in regions, particularly difference in regional labour markets, and the supply of New Zealand workers in there, ok so we're going to deliver recognition that labour markets can differ in regions, make sure that when we do, do those checks with MSD for workers, that we're getting a much better matching out of that, getting employer regional voice in, reducing complexity all of that good stuff. Now I'm going to take you through the options for the job check ok, it might be that the job you are trying to fill is a highly paid job, highly paid being defined as two times the median wage, so currently that's about in the 104-106%, to be honest with jobs of this type, we want you to come in and we want you to come in fast ok, we are making it easy, this is a very targeted type of job check. When we look at the data for last year, this is about 1200 types of roles, visas that were issued, it's quite small in the scheme of the 5200 that we did, but we want to make it fast for you guys ok, offering these jobs. Ok so how does that work, well essentially we're going to check that the job is not fake, we'll always do that, and then we're going to check that yes that is the salary of the job, and then other than that we're going to go right you've passed the job check, quick right, easy test, so you know again when I look at the data these are things like, occupations Resident Medical Officer, GP, Software Engineer, Psychiatrist, Construction Project Manager, when we look at our data those are the kinds of job occupations that tend to hit that salary threshold, this is where the work to residents policy will fit, alright completely uncoupled from the accreditation that you as an employer hold, all about the migrant, and to be frank about what they're earning, they have a pathway to residence. Coming in 2021, until then the existing policy stands, I talked about earlier.

Ok, that might not be you, obviously you might not be one of those 1200, so if that's not you you'll ask the question, is this job I am hiring for, part of a sector agreement, I call this a kind of new feature of the immigration system, but really it's sort of like an evolution of the recognised seasonal employer scheme, this is the opportunity for both government and industry, to sit down on the table targeted towards industries which are high users of predominantly lower paid jobs, ok the opportunity for the government to do a one to many, instead of doing all of that stuff around labour market kind of checking, one to one death by a thousand cuts, because these are the guys that we do over and over again, sitting down, coming to an agreement, one to many, embedding the labour market test alright, setting up upfront what it is that you need to meet, and then once you demonstrate that, part of the sector agreement a quick check through Immigration New Zealand.

Ok, so what are the sectors, can I have my sector in please, so essentially where government has asked us to start, is those sectors with a high reliance, high usage of lower paid roles, there are a number of sectors, and government has asked us to take forward those negotiations with two sectors this year, looking to conclude those negotiations by about mid next year, then take on another two, we're going to be in a position, a whole new team, a little offshoot of my team is being set up, to negotiate two of these a year, we're starting off with aged residential care, and we're starting off with meat processing eh Chris, I'm sitting down talking with Chris at the moment. Essentially what we'll be looking down to talk about, is what are your longer term plans, yes you use migrant labour now, you use it in you know high density, how's that going to unfold or change over time, looking at the relative shares of New Zealanders and migrants in that particular sector, is there opportunity what kind of commitments might we get from you around changing that over time. Ok, other sectors that we'll be looking to talk to, we started conversations dairy, forestry, road freight transport, tourism, hospitality. I was talking yesterday down in Invercargill, my first time in Invercargill, someone from tulip growing they said can we have a sector agreement, and I was kind of saying well actually frankly you're probably not who we're looking to do, because we really are looking to target this, to high users of migrant labour, so that is why we're focussing on that point. Construction and horticulture, viticulture sectors also potential candidates as well. The thing that you need to know, is that if you are one of those sectors, jobs and in there, and that occupation is part of the agreement, so sat down and agree that it's going be this occupation, that occupation and that occupation, if the job you're looking to fill is one of those occupations, you'll be subject to that sector agreement. Alright so the conversations that we're having at the moment, sitting down the preparation phase, is what will be the scope, which occupations will we have, talking to meat processing, talking to aged residential care, how will you have the representation and the mandate of your industry, given that coverage, if things like this aren't met, we're not going to be able to go forward in the negotiations, we're going to need to work through that ok, so we started off with those two sectors because actually, to be honest they're a bit easier to start off with, and then we'll be working through to our harder you know kind of the bit more things to put together with tourism and hospitality etc later.

Ok that might not be you, you might not be highly paid, you might not be part of a sector agreement, if that's the case then the thing for you is the regionalised labour market test. Regionalised because we're going to differentiate according to where you're based, we're also going to look at what your job is paying and differentiate according to pay as well. Let me take you through this. Now the first thing that's quite helpful for me to say I think, is quite often I use this jargony term labour market test, can I just check that people know what I mean by that? Labour market test is made up of three things, the first thing always happens, Immigration New Zealand regardless will always check that your job is not fake, that it's genuine ok. What sometimes happens is that you as an employer, need to have your advertising checked by Immigration New Zealand, need to check that you've done advertising, sometimes. The third thing that sometimes happens, is that a check, that you do a check with MSD to see if they've got a job seeker on their books, now depending on where you sit, you'll have all three of those, or you'll only have one or you'll only have two. I'm going to set out when that's going to happen.

Alright but first the regions, what are the regions, so this is our map of New Zealand, we have 16 regions, we are using the regional authority for this, this is an effort for government to use the same definition of regions, because we realised MSD use one definition, education use one definition, trying to bring that together and make it kind of common, and when we looked at that question, how you know what are the different labour markets in operation, how do we regionalise, we saw that there are three different kinds of labour market, that can be operating in New Zealand at any one point in time, there is what happens in cities, Wellington's a city, sorry Invercargill you weren't a city, Tauranga you're not a city, Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Hamilton and Dunedin are our cities, so what happens in cities, what happens in cities is that we do see shortages, so in Auckland when I look at the data, shortages left right and centre, but in cities there's often a real flow in and out of labour, quite a churn so things like advertising for example, really play an important role in providing a signal about what jobs are available, that's what cities tend to look like. Then there's what we call higher labour supply regions, this is when we look at indicators of unemployment in that region, of underutilisation, so people who would work more if they could, when we look to see about numbers coming out of our schooling system, they are higher labour supply, there is untapped workers there, who could be brought into jobs, and currently on our set of indicators, these are the regions that fall into that space. Then there are lower labour supply regions and to be honest there's just no one there, when we look at unemployment and we look at under utilisation, not a sausage and so if we're thinking about processing, why would we do all these checks when we know there's no one there, so you'll see what happens for them, ok that's our regions.

We have a whizz-bang model that sits underneath this, quite proud of that, we'll be looking to refresh that probably about every year, because labour markets are dynamic, they change I mean I don't want global financial crises, but you know they do change over time, so we'll all need to look at this and see whether regions do kind of switch points, that'll be well signalled to you, if it is the case. Ok regional skills leadership groups, I did mention this before, they're also being set up in those regions, there are some great groups already out there, and we're just going to be looking to see, do they have local employers, unions, iwi, community groups, taking a shared view across all of those stakeholders about what their regions needs are, in the labour market, what are the barriers, and taking a more coordinated approach to be demanding out of the immigration system, but also demanding out of the education and welfare system, and more responsive, a line into central government. We've been talking to people about that.

Ok this is like the mother of all tables, so bear with me, this is in your booklets, I'm going to take you through that in detail, this is where the regional picture and the what your job pays, comes together to tell you the type of labour market test that you'll need to do, and what kind of visa, duration, stand down period etc will unfold from that, ok so bear with me while I take you through it, so what I've got running across the top is the type of labour markers, I've got cities, higher labour supply regions, lower labour supply regions, down the side I've got does your job pay either above the median, or below the median, you still need to pay the market rate, if you've got a GP you cannot pay them $25.50 an hour ok, that's not real, alright so you still need to pay the market rate, let me take you through that very top line ok, right so these are jobs that pay above the median, these are the jobs that over time likely to have a pathway to residence, SMC starting to earn in the right sort of space right, ok so we distinguish those jobs. Above the median I'm going to start with my two regional labour markets there, we are saying if you are in the regions and your job is paying above the median, we are going to make it easy, the only thing that we'll do, more facilitative is check that your job is not fake, alright. Also just you know check the salary and stuff like that. If you meet that test then you get a tick through the job check, alright get a tick through the job check, your worker will have a 3 year visa, up to 3 years renewable, no stand down period for them, more facilitative, in the regions we want to get these higher paid people into those jobs in the regions, these settings is about making that easier ok. The pictures a little bit different if you're in a city, so in a city I mentioned constant in out, this is the only place where we will have skill shortages lists ok, if the job is on the skills shortages list, you won't need to advertise, we will always check that your job is genuine and not fake ok, if it's on the list you won't advertise, if it's not on the list we will check your advertising, you will need to advertise with the pay, ok, good signals to the labour market, that's what's going to happen in there, if you get a tick through that, check, job is not fake, job is real, advertising has occurred, yes the pay rate, tick, tick your people also 3 year visa renewable, alright so those are the jobs that are paid above the median. What if your job is paid below the median, ok so let me take you down to the bottom line, again I'm going to talk about what the strength in labour market test means in a minute, so just kind of hold that thought. If you are in a lower labour supply region, we have already established that no one lives where you are, and there isn't that much space in the labour market, we will issue your visa for 3 years up front, ok we don't see the need to check two times through 3 years, and put you through that processing, because we already know that there's no one there ok, 3 years up front followed by the stand down period ok. If you're in a higher labour supply region, that is telling us that potentially there could be people there in the near future, right so status quo essentially up to, you'll get a 12 month visa, ability to renew twice so 3 years in total, and then that's followed by the stand down period. Now if you're in the city it's exactly the same thing as well, so in this really recognising that in those low labour supply regions, shortages are definitely existing, but jobs that pay below standard period will apply, get them a 3 year visa up front.

Ok I just want to talk about the strength in labour market test, because that's even more jargon from me, ok so remember I said earlier strength in labour market test can be three things, check that the job is not fake, always do that, whether advertising is required, a check with MSD, strength in labour market test all of those three things need to be done. Ok right so advertising with the pay please, got to check that. Now the check with MSD, we know that this has not been working well, MSD know this, employers know this, immigration knows this, how do we improve that, where do we make that check make sense, and make a difference, this is how we think we do that. First of all we are going to be asking for you to please document your job well, tell us, what qualifications, what skills, what experience are needed for that job, tell that to MSD ok, they'll get a good picture of what your job needs. They will then triage alright this is part of their IT build, they will know on a regional or sectoral basis, whether or not they've got people who could fill that job, you know if you look in some of the regions they already know no we ain't got anyone, so for example down in Queenstown, for a number of years they've had a triage route, where they know in Queenstown there ain't no one to fill in their job, so actually whizz them through that kind of check. MSD triage, IT build to enable that, that might be on a job basis as well, because for example we do know that some early in career teachers, some early in career nurses, end up earning below the median, and then the move up, so we want to make it quick triage, they know they haven't got people on the books to do that, whizz them through. Ok if they find that they do, you know they do potentially have someone for that, they'll be working with you to determine whether one of their jobseekers is suitable, trainable, available for that job ok, and whether to make a referral or not. If they do make a referral, we're going to have quite a tight number of reasons where that referral could be declined ok, things like this person didn't turn up to the interview, right you've done what you needed to do, reasons that this person did test positive for a drug test, and the job that I'm doing is in a high risk environment ok, right obviously decline that person, but quite a tight number of reasons, this is again one of the things that working together with MSD colleagues, we're going to be developing this, alright then they will tell Immigration New Zealand, they'll say we referred someone, didn't meet the reasons for declining so job check can't be met sorry Immigration New Zealand, Immigration New Zealand we are fettering their ability to overturn what MSD are saying, ok putting incentives on MSD to make really good referrals, alright to triage out the ones that we know are not going to work. MSD will absolutely recognise if you've been working with them in the past, so potentially you know over the past year or a couple of years, you have been bringing in referrals, you've probably got as many as you can take, because they need support right, they'll recognise that and so go ok actually you've met the job check, because you've been doing the things that we want to do, which was kind of making sure that you're making those jobs available, they will recognise that. They will also recognise if you're hiring 10 people at once for this job, you probably can't take all 10 MSD referrals, because it requires a bit more work, maybe you can take 1-2, alright you will agree that with them, fine.

Alright now a job check, so you are the applicant for this, you're going to have to pay a fee for that alright, when we've done our modelling we're seeing that to be around about the kind of $550 mark, now I get a lot of questions, I've got 10 jobs at once is that 10x550, alright let's think about the processing, 10 of the same job, essentially the same check you're in one labour market, it's all the same occupation, it's the same job, you'd only pay that once, a job check is also likely, we're going to finally make our decision on this, likely to last about 6 months, so you'll have an approval to recruit into that, for 6 months, so again yeah multiple roles we're looking at how do you, you know make that kind of one check where it makes sense, clearly if one of your jobs is in a higher labour supply region, and one's in a lower labour supply region, the processing is a little bit different, ok so we will need to recognise that, but you know kind of generally be a one job check. What does it mean in terms of you know I love this example from down in Queenstown, a restaurant operator whose got two restaurants on the same street, often moves people from restaurant to restaurant, some of you guys move your people around the country and stuff like that, this will make it easier, because we've already checked you as an employer, we've already done a check on the job, is the job in a materially different place where there's a different labour market, if the answer's no then move that person, that's fine. So things like that, it opens up those possibilities to achieve that.

Alright I'll just talk about the stand down, people are really conscious that August 2020 stand down does come in effect, because 3 years since 2017, government has decided to keep that policy in place, but asked us to consult on are there any other ways that we can meet the policy objective, so the objective being here about preventing a build up of people on temporary visas, who have no pathway to residence, puts them potentially in a place of vulnerability, and essentially two things came back to us, one was a pathway to residents for lower paid people, and the government said actually we don't have an appetite for that, it's quite a rationed place in our resident setting, we'd prefer to set that aside for higher paid qualified people. The other thing that came back was well I'm a good employer I promise you, so if you bond them to me, I will look after them. No appetite for that either, because you know not all employers are the same, so a stand down period remains. Right worker check, pretty much the same as what you do, I'm not going to talk much about this, migrant will pay for this, that's their application to make. This is a bit cheaper for them, because they've been paying for the other things. Alright so I'm getting to the end, you're doing well, phased approach of these changes, are more information, and other things that we're consulting about that you can ask me questions on of course. Are you still alive?

So you've all got that? Very good, so we've got some time for some questions now, we have got that online audience that we need to be conscious of, so we'll need you to talk into the microphone if you do have a question, and we'll also be taking questions from the online audience if we think they will be relevant to the wider group, so whose got some questions? The good news I think too isn't it, is that this is not something that you need to digest immediately, it's all been phased over the next sort of 18 or so months, yes there's immediate change to the talent visa number that's in effect, but other than that phased in through 2020/2021 so nothing to really panic about. Any questions that you'd like to respond? We need you to talk into the microphone.

Question 1: Did I hear you earlier that you're going to disestablish the talent accreditation pathway or something like that?

Yeah so in 2021 when everything is phased in, those six different kind of visa policies I talked about, that is when they will be disestablished, they will cease to exist and we'll have this one new visa that will come out, so if you currently are an accredited employer, and you're doing that, that is when that will finish, right yeah but you have up until that point, and that is why you know we needed to actually raise that salary threshold now, because you can imagine the incentives in place in terms of like I better get in before it becomes $104,000 you know completely rational behaviour, but yeah one that we wanted to avoid.

Ok lovely thank you.

Yeah hey how proactive or reactive do you think the programme will be with respect to projects such as Transmission Gully in certain regions?

What a very good question, so tell me a bit more about kind of what you're thinking there, sorry so you're thinking about actually you know we have these circumstances, events that happen that we need to like get people in and fast, and I guess that very much is about you know, kind of employers coming together with Immigration New Zealand, saying hey we've got this thing planned out, so planning out you know, do you want to start a job check, you know that you're going to be needing to employ this group of people, so maybe you bring that in, that job check is probably going to last about 6 months, you know so if people move or you know, you expect to have someone in and that falls through, you know you won't need to go through all of that again, you've got your job check, so it's actually giving you certainty as an employer, that at the end of the day you are going to be able to fill that with a migrant worker, sometimes I think for some employers it's a bit like a throw of the dice but, yeah I think, and particularly when I think about sector agreements, and sitting down with an industry, you know thinking about what is coming up on the horizon yeah.

Question 3:       Just a question in relation to the work to residency you mentioned, going to be under the higher paying jobs in the future, is there any thought or move to change the age in that respect?

Yes, so I've had this question before, interesting I don't have the answer for you right now, the answer I can give you is that government hasn't asked us to, you know to change any settings within the residents policies at the moment, but I'm aware of that difference, that being 55 and that also being 55, that could be something that's looked at potentially, so that hasn't been decided yet, it might be something that we look at, obviously that will be for the Minister to determine of no Sian leave that alone, not interested, but it's interesting because this has been raised, so I think quite interested in providing some advice around it yeah.

Louise we'll just do a question here then we'll go to you.

Question 4:       Sorry around so if you've got the visa, everything's gone through, the process has worked, we as a company got our visa, you said you have it for 12 months and then you renew it and you can get it for 2 years.

Right so tell me about you and where you're at.

We would be the highly paid IT sector, so I've applied for the visa right this is hypothetical.

Yeah so you've been accredited, you've got approval for your job check, you've found your person, what kind of visa do they have?

The highly skilled.

Yeah so you will definitely be, you will be in the above median income.

Yes so my question is just you have the visa, as an employer for 12 months right, and then you have to renew it.

You're talking about the accreditation?

Yes sorry.

Ok sorry so accreditation yes.

So I'm just trying to work out how long, because you've got in here up to 3 year visa renewable.

So visa that's issued to the migrant is different from an accreditation that you hold, accreditation is like the tick that you have as an employer, and what we're saying for all types, is you initially will get that for 12 months, and then you can renew for another 2 years, the exception to this is labour hire companies, ok now if you are already an accredited employer, we are really thinking through how do we streamline you into this accreditation, how do we recognise that, because we've already got a whole lot of information about you right, so you'll hold the accreditation for that long, you'll need to hold that accreditation in order to be able to hire and keep these migrants, so you've got to keep that ticking, but that is separate from the visa, and the length of the visa, so in your case of your IT roles, sounds like 3 years renewable, and potentially if they're paid over that 200% of the median wage, they'll have a pathway to residence, that is bespoke to them.

Question 5:       Hi, so my question was on the same table, if a migrant is earning above the median wage, just clarifying there's no stand down period there?

Correct, yes stand down period only applies for jobs paying below the median.

Ok and follow up question to that, so currently in today's scenario where the work to residence has been increased to $79,000, the people who are on work visas, even above the median wage right now, will still have to go back home if they complete 3 years, because this comes into picture only in 2021.

Yes so we've been crafty with our implementation timeframe, ok here, so the first stand down stuff happens in August 2020, that's 3 years from August 2017, we will be getting rid of ANZSCO and moving to that above or below the median, in July so before stand down, so there is an opportunity, you as employers if you're like I want to keep this person, I am willing to push their wages up, that would be a good outcome in terms of sort of what the government's looking for, and so time to do that ahead, you know obviously that's a business choice for you, we're just making it really clear, you know above, below the median, what the situation is, clear for the migrants as well.

Question 6:Hi so if you've got an employer, employee sorry whose currently on the talent visa, around the $55,000.

Yes same continues for them.

So there used to be a pathway that they could after 2 years apply for a talent residence visa.

Still applies for them yeah.

So nothing changes if they've currently got the talent work visa?

As long as they were on that visa before the 7th October, the $55,000 applies for them, so generally when we do this thing called grand-parenting, it's the conditions that you, you know the rules that you applied at the time, if this person has come in after the 7th October, then that $79,000 is what applies to them.

It was prior but I'm just working out the path to residency for that person still applies.

Yeah so they will continue to hold the visa that they've got, providing that they still meet that $55,000 and above income, after the 2 years they apply for residency, and if those conditions are met they will get their residency.

And just out of interest if they prior to having the talent visa, had had other work visas and worked in New Zealand for several years even before that, could they apply for the residence visa earlier than the 2 years, or do they have to wait?

No so they'd be under that particular policy, I mean they've got the option at any time, to look over the way and looked at skilled migrant category, and decide whether or not actually I'm in a position where I am going to collect the points and stuff for that, or they stay where they're at, so they have that choice, but you can't speed up the 2 years.

Ok brilliant thank you.

Question 7:       Hi just a question around the median wage, is that a gross amount or is that a net, where does that figure sit?

Yeah so that is a gross amount, and I love the median wage so national median wage, indexed over time we are not going to find ourselves in the position that we were with the $55,000 threshold, so you know Immigration New Zealand is an information taker, they already every November look to see what Stats New Zealand say, so that does change and that's why Dean I think you mentioned it's gone from $25-$25.50, that's a kind of yearly thing phased in, it is occupation agnostic so what I mean by that is we're not differentiating between what the median is for different occupations, national median, half of New Zealand earn above it, and half earn below it.

Question 8:       Hi I work for an industry where we have trouble getting New Zealand residents to work for us, when we bring immigrants in, we don't pay, well currently we don't certainly pay over that threshold, and the work they do they wouldn't be getting that, so what is the visa that they.

So tell me about, if I can sort of where you think you'd be at, when you say threshold do you mean the medium wage?

Yeah so the $79,000, yeah so currently yeah.

So $79,000 only applies if you're currently, if you're accredited and they're on that work to residence, so that policy will be disestablished from 2021 ok, so if they're not earning that, they wouldn't be able to have that work to residents, essentially then they would be in the space of the below medium place, so where is your job?

I work for a scaffolding firm.

Oh all over the country?

No just in Porirua.

Right so you're in one of our cities, so essentially the status quo, the kind of visa that's currently on offer now, so they would have a 12 month visa that can be renewed a couple of times up to 36 months, followed by the stand down period, although if that wage ticks over the median, so currently if it went you know you're paying above $25.50 boom, boom you're up in the above median wage place ok, it means that we would just, because you're in a city, need to check your advertising, 3 years renewable, obviously completely up to you about how you set your wages, and what you, you know what you want to do.

Ok so potentially they can only stay in the country for 3 years, and then if we don't increase their wages we have to say they go home.

Yes, yes so that is that policy setting, you know temporary means temporary, above median wage we're looking at you know tends to be jobs, occupations pay that do have a pathway to residency, and looking yeah. Sorry can I just mention one thing, so getting rid of ANZSCO for the temporary work visas that I've talked to you about, ANZSCO does still exist in the skilled migrant category in the residence policy, I think they might you know we'll see how these link up, but yeah so I realise that could be a bit disjointed.

Question 9:       Hi yeah, very good presentation, just I've got two questions while I have the mic, I'm in the aged residential care sector, so really interested in the sector agreement, first question how does this change, so I'm Essential Skills work visa.

Yeah so essential skills is one of those six things that I talked about, so coming up with a new name for that, it's quite a hot topic in my office at the moment, in 2021 Essential Skills…..dead.

So which means that all employers will need to be accredited if we want to employ migrant workers.

Correct, correct. Can I add one thing to that sorry, a lot of people are asking me I'm not currently accredited is that a good idea, should I do this, well you need to be thinking what kind of employer are you going to be, the policy is very different, so you need to make a choice because the kind of, the way that we do accredited employer is quite time consuming, intensive, costs quite a bit more, so you need to make that choice yourself just in case you are not an accredited employer, whether that's wise so.

The second question is, I'm happy that we're reinstating, proposing reinstatement of lower skilled workers, to bring in their family, and you said they could come on a visitor or a student visa is that right?

That's right yeah.

What's the timeframe of the visa that they can get?

Ok the difference there, so this is something that will come in from July, reinstate that, student visa will be issued as long as the worker, you know the supporting worker visa will be issued, similarly with the visitor visa, so interestingly with visitor visas, Immigration New Zealand tend to only issue those for up to 9 months, otherwise you're kind of not a visitor, because you expect to go home, they will issue those up for a year, so that will match the workers visa, which means you don't have to go home after 9 months, and then come back and get another visa, they'll issue for a long as that. If that person wants to work, no problem they'll just need to go through the job check and do.

And the visitor visas also automatically renewable then, because then the worker can.

So it'll match what it is, I mean obviously they need to meet you know the standards for that visa, and security checks and things like that, but if that's fine yeah.

Thank you.

Just a couple of questions on accreditation too, the I guess the standard accreditation have you got any idea of the timetable 22,000 people is a hell of a lot of businesses.

I know, I know this is consuming our thinking and planning, hence why it's not something we're doing until 2021, zero, zero expectation all employers will be accredited from day one, that will break our system, and that will break you as employers, so no intention to do that, I mentioned earlier about thinking about our current cohort of accredited employers, how we streamline them, and I'm having also conversations with regions, who are saying to me please don't make us do it over this time, because this is when we're busy picking our grapes, so we actually need to sit down and go through what is a sensible transition plan, as soon as we have done that, talked to people about it, got the tick off we will tell people, you will know in advance, it is very much in Immigration New Zealand interest to have that go smoothly, obviously as it is for employers yeah.

And I guess the second part of that accreditation is how do you view say one company who might have, multiple businesses in multiple locations, can that head office if you like be the accredited employer.

On behalf of their sort of offspring if you like, again kind of working through there, but really what we're looking at as we develop that and have an answer for that question, essentially the policy intent behind it is, we're really looking to accredit the body that has the most direct employment relationship with the people, if that kind of makes sense, so we'd be looking and thinking ok well some head office that's way off on the other side of the world, it kind of doesn't make sense to necessarily accredit them, so we'll be looking through, but that gives you the kind of sense of because it's about managing regulatory risk, exploitation risk, we're interested in going ok who, you know who are the people that actually have that direct thing with, lots of firms like yours that have that relationship, so that's something that we're working through, I don't have the exact answer right now.                                

Question 11:      Hi I'm Peter, this is not a question, this is a quick comment if you don't mind, I came here because I believe this is a, a talk on policy and resetting, and there's a lot of details which is all very good, but I think it's an eye opener to hear you say, that you think the customer isn't necessarily the migrant but the employer, so I think that's a very important shift in thinking, and I believe that in so doing, what follows, the details you follow I'm afraid still seem to emphasise on the importance of the migrant, and the giveaway quite evident you talk about exploitation, unequal playing field, bad apples you know so, my comment is that the employers seem to be getting quite a sort of, a bad look from your lenses, and I think this needs to change if we are going to reset the policy.

Yeah, so I suppose our comment back would be, absolutely not all employers are the bad eggs, or the bad apples, so how do, but some are, currently our system is not able or has a lot of difficulty in identifying that and taking action, so how can we think about a system which absolutely recognises those who are not, and lets them in, and screens the ones that aren't, and so I'm sorry if you took away that I think all employers are bad, I definitely don't think that, but through things like the employer check, you know a light touch check for the vast majority of employers, to screen out you know on some clear set of standards, and you know but to not make it an over burdensome thing, I think and it's interesting the contrast with the proposals that we're consulted on, which put a lot more in that standard check, and to be honest the feedback that we had, and when we looked at it, is its over checking because the vast majority of employers aren't these bad eggs, so how do we do those checks in a way that does identify them, but doesn't kind of penalise or put too much compliance on the rest as well, so I thank you for the opportunity to maybe just restate I don't think that at all, and to kind of say how this in effect.

11 Maybe communicate it a bit better?

Probably, actually on this stuff probably when we, maybe when we did the consultation where we went out, you know out across the country, but absolutely I mean you've hit on an important thing, this is the first of a conversation, talking with my colleagues over the next 18 months, how do we get information out to you guys, you know when we've got the new information coming through, so we are thinking a lot about that, in a way that works for you but is obviously also efficient for us, because as much as I like to travel the country, I've got to do some of the development of this stuff, but thanks for that reminder its good.

We're going to have to wrap it up, we're on time so what we'll do is we'll hang around if we can, afterwards and answer any other questions, but I think we've pretty much done our time so, thank you so much for coming along, we know there was a lot to take in, but as we said it's going to be spread over quite a time period, but if you have any questions please come down and we'll deal with them personally thank you.