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From 23 December 2023, 90-day trial periods are available for all employers. For more information, visit: 90-day trial periods extended to include all employers This site will be updated.

New requirements for employers under the Worker Protection Act

The Worker Protection (Migrant and other Employees) Act 2023 comes into force on 6 January 2024. It strengthens immigration and employment laws to assist in protecting employees from exploitation.

The Act is an important step in protecting the conditions of every employee in New Zealand.

An important employment law change is that employers who are unable to immediately comply with a Labour Inspector’s requirement to supply copies (or produce records for inspection) must meet this requirement within 10 working days.

Failure by the employer to supply the required records within the timeframe is an infringement offence.

A Labour Inspector can:

  • issue an infringement notice and a fee of $1,000 per offence, up to a maximum of $20,000 in infringement fees in a 3-month period, or
  • seek a penalty at the Employment Relations Authority for each breach of up to $10,000 for an individual or $20,000 against a company or corporate body.

The Act also allows people convicted of migrant exploitation or people trafficking to be disqualified from managing or directing a company. This will ensure that persons who leverage corporate structures to avoid consequences and detection will no longer be able to do so in that capacity and will help prevent that offending from reoccurring.

For more information on good record keeping, see Keeping accurate records

Immigration changes

The Act also brings changes to the Immigration Act 2009 that has impacts for employers hiring migrant workers.

For more information see: Immigration changes resulting from the Worker Protection (Migrant and Other Employees) Act - Immigration New Zealand (external link)

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