NZ to clamp down on rogue employers

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The government is set to clamp down on rogue employers after officials announced plans earlier today which will protect migrant workers and punish those that exploit them.

“Migrant workers make a valuable contribution to our workforce and have the same rights as any other worker,” immigration minister Michael Woodhouse said.

Woodhouse confirmed the government would be taking steps to stop employers who breach immigration and employment law from recruiting migrant workers.

“It is simply unacceptable that those employers who exploit migrant workers are still able to recruit from the international labour market and disadvantage those employers who do the right thing,” he said.

As of 1 April, 2017, the government will be introducing stand-down periods during which time employers who flout the law will be banned from recruiting further migrant workers.

“Employers who have incurred an employment standards-related penalty will be banned from recruiting migrant labour for defined stand-down periods ranging from six months to two years, depending on the severity of the case,” explained Woodhouse.

Published guidelines and criteria will ensure that stand-down periods are applied fairly, consistently and transparently, he added.

“Access to the international labour market is a privilege, not a right and if employers abuse that privilege by exploiting migrants or failing to comply with employment law, there will be consequences,” said Woodhouse.

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