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To renew or not to renew


Businesses that became accredited employers in 2022 will soon need to decide if they want to maintain their accreditation status. Employer accreditation applications first opened in May 2022 and there was a rush to apply. Today there are over 33,000 accredited employers 


In 2024, many employers hold accreditation due to expire sometime this year. Employers who applied for accreditation before 4 July 2023 automatically received a free 12-month extension. Many may have forgotten what undertakings were agreed to as part of becoming an accredited employer. 


To renew employer accreditation there is an application process and government fee to pay. This fee ranges from $740 to $3,870 depending on the type of accreditation applied for. Accreditation is renewed for 12 months from date of decision, not 12 months from the current expiry date (so this doesn't work like your car registration). Apply too early before the expiry date and you could get shortchanged, apply too late and you have a period of not being accredited. 


Questions you’ll need to answer 


The application form will ask questions about the actions your business should have taken as accredited employers. Some examples include:


  • Has your organisation ensured that, while the last accreditation was current, the people in your organisation, who make recruitment decisions, completed the online employer modules? 

  • Within one month of their starting work, has your organisation provided information about the local community and services to all Accredited Employer Work Visa holders recruited since your last accreditation application? 

  • Within one month of their starting work, has your organisation provided paid work time to complete online employee modules to all Accredited Employer Work Visa holders recruited since your last accreditation application?


If any of the answers to these questions is ‘No’ then Immigration NZ (INZ) will request a ‘please explain’ along with evidence that business practices have changed to ensure compliance moving forward. The business may be subject to random audits to satisfy INZ that the changes have been implemented. 


Even with a ’Yes’, evidence of compliance may be requested along with annual financial statements and/or GST/PAYE returns.  


Weighing up the costs 


At a time when businesses are busy controlling costs, it could be tempting not to renew accreditation. There are some points to consider before deciding not to maintain employer accreditation, as it will impact future business decisions and may affect current migrant workers.  


A business that is not accredited cannot: 


  • Hire more migrant workers on Accredited Employer Work Visas. 

  • Support a migrant worker employee to extend their Accredited Employer Work Visa beyond the current expiry date. 

  • Employ migrant workers already in NZ who hold an Accredited Employee Work Visa. 

  • Support migrant workers to apply for residence under the Skilled Migrant residence categories. 


A small number of employers have abused the system, while some migrant workers have been exploited. INZ is reviewing its systems and processes. Accreditation is simply part of your businesses compliance that sits alongside employment law, health and safety and so on. 

 

Get it right! Talk to our team of immigration experts today!  





The Malcolm Pacific Immigration employer online tool helps your business and migrant workers keep mandatory records in one place. It has settlement information for migrant workers, allowing them to better understand working and living in New Zealand plus how to meet government regulations. If your business is not using this tool, contact our Employer team today at: malcolmpacific.com/employers 

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