Immigration New Zealand (INZ) had announced changes to the median wage rate for Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) applications. These changes come into effect on 27 February 2023. This alert summarizes key information including flow on impacts for family members of AEWV holders and roles exempt from paying the median wage rate.
On 27 February 2023, a new median wage rate of $29.66 per hour will be incorporated into policy.
Job Check applications for roles that are not exempt from meeting the median rate requirements and pay below $29.66 per hour (but above $27.76) should be submitted before 27 February 2023. Job Check applications that are not exempt from meeting the median rate requirements and pay below $29.66 will most likely be declined after 27 February 2023 (unless further policy changes are made that impact the median wage rate policy).
AEWV applications submitted after 27 February 2023 that are supported by approved Job Check applications submitted before 27 February 2023 and with offers of employment paying above $27.76 but below $29.96 (or under Level 4 as per the Support Workers (Pay Equity) Settlements Act 2017) will:
- be approved for 2 years (or 7 months for meat and seafood processing roles)
- be subject to a stand down period.
- not be able to support partners for Partnership Work Visas. Children can still be supported for Dependent Child Student Visas (as long as all other requirements are met).
The twice median wage rate will also be increased to $59.32 per hour or $123,177.60 per annum (using a 40-hour work week) on 27 February 2023. Job Check applications that pay below $59.32 per hour or $123,177.60 per annum will need to be labour market tested unless Green List requirements can be met.
Roles Exempt from Paying Median Wage Rate
The following roles are exempt from paying the median wage rate and will require Job Check applications to pay a minimum of $26.69 per hour after 27 February 2023. Workers will need to be paid at least $26.69 per hour, if they are supported by a Job Check application submitted after 27 February 2023. Workers can still be paid least $25.00 per hour if they are supported by a Job Check application submitted by 27 February 2023 (that is subsequently approved).
|Air-conditioning and Refrigeration||Whitewater Rafting Guide||Drainage, Sewerage and Storm water|
|Bricklayer||Fibrous Plasterer||Metal Fabricator|
|Builder's Labourer||Fitter (general)||Painting Trades Worker|
|Carpenter and Joiner||Floor Finisher||Roof Plumber|
|Roof Tiler||Meat Process Worker||Parachute Rigger|
|Seafood Process Worker||Ski Technician|
|Stonemason||Mountain or Glacier Guide||Snow Groomer|
|Wall and Floor Tiler||Outdoor Adventure Guides||Snow Maker|
|Welder||Outdoor Adventure Instructor||Snow Sport Instructor|
The following Tourism and Hospitality sector roles that are exempt from paying the median wage rate will require Job Check applications to pay a minimum of $28.18 per hour from April 2023. Associated AEWV holders will also need to be paid at least $28.18 per hour, if they are supported by a Job Check application submitted from April 2023. Workers can still be paid least $25.00 per hour if they are supported by a Job Check application submitted before April 2023 (that is subsequently approved).
|Accommodation and Hospitality Managers||Doorperson or Luggage Porter||Caravan park and Camping Ground Manager|
|Kitchenhand||Fast Food Cook||Licensed Club Manager|
|Bar Attendant||Food Trades Assistants||Pastrycook's Assistant|
|Barista||Gallery or Museum Technician||Tour Guide|
|Cafe Worker||Gaming Worker||Travel Agency Manager|
|Commercial Housekeeper||Hospitality Workers||
|Conference and Event Organiser||Hotel or Motel Manager||Travel Consultant|
|Diving Instructor (open water)||Hotel or Motel Receptionist||Trekking Guide|
|Hunting Guide||Hotel Service Manager||Waiter|
The following roles associated with health sector agreement will need to pay at least a Level 3 rate and will be exempt from paying the median rate. Pay rate changes for these roles will be rolled out after December 2023.
|Aged or Disabled Carer||Kaiawhina (hauora) (Maori health assistant)||Residential Care Officer|
|Child or Youth Residential Care Assistant||Nursing Support Worker||Therapy Aide|
|Disabilities Services Officer||Personal Care Assistant||Diversional Therapist|
We recommend that employers should audit visa tracking records to make sure that any workers paid around $27 but below $29.66 are supported for Job Check applications and AEWV application as soon as practicable.
Unless there are new policy changes from Government, INZ will do its best to implement policy decisions that have already been made.
All information is current as of 26 January 2023.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.