Employment Agreements – What is Immigration New Zealand looking for

Whether you’re applying for a new visa, or an employer looking for staff, it’s important that the employment agreement meets what Immigration New Zealand is looking for. Here are seven quick tips on doing things right.

  1. The employment agreement needs to meet all of the requirements as laid out in s65 of the Employment Relations Act 2000. If anything is missing, Immigration New Zealand is likely to ask why.
  2. Unless there is a particular reason, any employment agreement needs to be for a permanent role. The reasons permitted are generally around the work being temporary, such as it relates to a project with a set time frame, or the employment is to replace someone who is away from work for a set period but who will return.
  3. The role needs to be for a minimum of 30 hours per week. It can be variable, as long as, in the worst-case scenario, the employee is guaranteed at least 30 hours per week of work.
  4. The job description needs to substantially match the task list for the role as found in ANZSCO. However, it shouldn’t just be a cut and past of the ANZSCO task list. The job description has to actually match what the employee will be doing.
  5. The employment agreement needs to meet the requirements for holidays, leave, breaks etc as required under legislation.
  6. If the employment agreement contains a trial provision, and the employer is small enough to use a trial provision, that employment agreement MUST be signed before the employee does ANY work. It needs to be signed BEFORE the employee arrives for work on their first day.
  7. Employment New Zealand, part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, provide an Employment Agreement Builder (EAB) that can be used to help you create an employment agreement. While we would recommend that every employer utilises a lawyer to at least review any base employment agreement, for smaller employers the EAB is better than just finding a random employment agreement online. It also helps to explain what different sections of an employment agreement mean.

Migration Partners, in collaboration through our partnership with Stace Hammond, can assist any employer with creating and reviewing an employment agreement, to meet the requirements, and maximise your chances at any new employee gaining that right to work. A properly constructed base employment agreement can then be rolled out to multiple staff moving forward, with only minimal changes needed.