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Employers on stand-down

All employers are required to comply with employment standards. Employers who have breached employment standards are restricted from recruiting migrant employees.

Employers who have breached employment standards

Employers who have received a penalty (or similar) for a breach of employment standards will be viewed as non-compliant with New Zealand employment law and will be unable to support visa applications for a set period of time. This is referred to as a ‘stand-down period’.

A stand-down period starts when:

  • a Labour Inspector issues an infringement notice
  • the Employment Relations Authority or Employment Court awards a penalty for a breach of employment standards
  • the Employment Court makes a banning order, a declaration of breach, or awards pecuniary penalties in relation to employment standards breaches.

The immigration restrictions apply to all who support visa applications, including employers who are:

  • supporting work visa applications and approvals in principle
  • seeking accredited-employer status or supporting residence class visa applications based on employment
  • part of the recognised seasonal employer scheme.

Find out more about the legal requirements for supporting a visa application.

Employ migrants – Immigration New Zealand(external link)

Enforcement action and stand-down period

The following stand-down periods apply to employers who have breached employment standards.

Infringement Notice

For a single infringement notice, an employer is given a stand-down period of 6 months. If any other infringement notices are issued at the same time, a further 6-month period is given to a maximum of 12 months.

If further infringement notices are issued at a later time, the new infringement notice will run concurrently with the existing notice.

Example:

An employer is issued an infringement notice for 6 months on 1 January 2024. Their stand-down will expire on 1 July 2024. Should they receive a further infringement on 1 April 2024, the 6-month period will start again and end on 1 October 2024.

Penalties ordered by Employment Relations Authority or Employment Court

Penalties

Individual penalties Company penalties Stand-down period
$1,000 or less $1,000 or less 6 months
Greater than $1,000 but less than $10,000 Greater than $1,000 but less than $20,000 12 Months
$10,000 or greater but less than $25,000 $20,000 or greater but less than $50,000 18 Months
$25,000 and above $50,000 and above 24 Months

Pecuniary penalties

Where pecuniary penalties are ordered by the Employment Court, a 24-month stand-down period will apply.

Declaration of breach ordered by the Employment Court

When a declaration of breach is issued, there is a 12-month stand-down, which may be increased as appropriate to reflect the resulting penalties (up to a maximum total of 24 months).

Banning order by the Employment Court

When a banning order of less than 5 years is issued by the Employment Court, the employer will also be stood down from recruiting migrant employees for 12 months (up to a total of 24 months), starting at the end of the banning order.

Employers visa stand-down report

A list of employers subject to a stand-down period is maintained and made public by Employment New Zealand (see table linked to below). The table details the employers currently on stand-down and the length of their stand-down period, as set out in Appendix 10 of the Immigration New Zealand Operational Manual.

  • A visa applicant’s employment must be with an employer who is currently and historically compliant with New Zealand employment and immigration law.
  • Employers who have challenged a penalty issued to them remain on the report until the outcome of their challenge has been decided.

Employers visa stand-down report [PDF, 209 KB]

Companies on the Immigration stand-down list are not able to support visas for migrants for a set period of time, due to breaching immigration law. You can also use this tool to find out when a company's stand-down period ends.

Immigration stand-down list - Immigration New Zealand(external link)

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