The COVID-19 crisis and current lockdown has impacted on everyone and we are all grappling with the ramifications and permutations of what this means for our businesses, our future and particularly for our staff.
Many of us have employees from overseas and we recognise the contribution these migrant employees make to New Zealand businesses is significant, and many businesses are increasingly reliant on their skills.
Migrant employees are particularly vulnerable, and their personal situations are extremely uncertain, at this time. Most are a long way from home and their employment in New Zealand is critical to supporting their families. Many will be extremely anxious and it is important employers are knowledgeable, or seek expert advice, about their employees’ visa situations and their own obligations, and manage these correctly and appropriately.
As with most happenings at present, including the situation with visa holders, the policy has not been written to accommodate this extraordinary event. We expect that Immigration New Zealand (INZ) will proactively and positively move to alleviate the current regulatory shortcomings, particularly into the unavoidable breaches of visa conditions arising from the impact of Covid-19. However the situation for migrant employees moving forward is much less clear and there can be little doubt that there will be greater obligations on all employers, and much higher thresholds to be met, in order for new work visas to be issued in the future.
Pathways’ has compiled this list of FAQs from the questions being asked by our own corporate and visa holder clients to assist employers. This information is accurate at this time but is subject to change and should not, by itself, be relied upon as each visa situation must still be assessed on a case by case basis taking into account all the circumstances involved.
If your, or your employee’s, questions are not answered in this FAQ please contact a Pathways Licenced Immigration Adviser by telephoning (07) 834 9222 or by emailing [email protected].
The Pathways Covid-19 employer Q & A service is free of charge – we are in this together.