Worker picking grapes in New Zealand.

Important New Anti–Exploitation Migrant Law

August 7th, 2023 - Barbara Buckett

If your business employs migrant workers it must be legally compliant to be not at risk.

The Worker Protection (Migrant and other Employees) bill is now law. It is aimed at strengthening protection for vulnerable workers in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

The legislation comes into force from the 6th January 2024 and amends the Immigration Act 2009, the Employment relations Act 2000 and the Companies Act 2024.

It introduces a penalty regime to deter non-compliance with the rights of migrant workers and obligations by employers linked to exploitation.

Exploitation includes a range of non-compliance with employer obligations including forced and people trafficking.

Employers will be required to comply Labour inspector requests within 10 days of the request.  Requests may include such things as the provision of contracts and policies.

Failure to comply with Labour Inspectorate requests within the required time may result in an infringement notice being issued.

The law change empowers the High Court to disqualify a person from being a Director of a New Zealand company where there has been a conviction of exploitation under the immigration act 2009 or trafficking in persons under the Crimes act 1961.

At Buckettlaw we offer legal services which keep employers abreast of their obligations.

We have the experience in defending claims against employers. So don’t get caught out it can be a costly business if it’s not right in the first place. 

We can assist in ensuring your contracts and policies are relevant and up-to date. That your business is safely legally compliant and not at risk.

If you employ or intend to employ migrant workers give us a call. If you are called upon by the Labour Inspector,give us a call.

Note: BuckettLaw takes no responsibility for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of our articles. Any views expressed or comments made in an article are the writers option only. The content in our articles does not constitute legal advice. If you need legal or expert advice you should obtain specific advice about your case or matter from a professional. For legal advice based on your individual situation please contact us to speak with one of our expert lawyers.

Enjoy a complimentary 15-minute phone call as a first-time offer.

Barbara Buckett

Barbara Buckett is a highly experienced senior employment lawyer with over 35 years of practice in New Zealand. She provides expert advice on all areas of employment law and has a proven track record of delivering excellent results for clients. Barbara has extensive experience in resolving workplace issues and is an experienced litigator. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, working out, and fine wine and dining with friends.

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