A new sector agreement valid from 31 October allows construction and infrastructure employers to hire migrant workers below the median wage for specific roles.
The sector agreements, first announced in August 2022, will allow limited exceptions to the median wage requirements for hiring migrants on an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) in specific occupations. They were developed in consultation with key sector bodies, unions and government agencies, and have been tailored to the specific workforce needs and conditions.
The sector agreement for the construction and infrastructure workforce allows employers to hire migrant workers for the positions listed below for NZD $25.00 per hour if Job Check and Migrant Check are submitted until 26 February 2023. From 27 February 2023, this wage threshold will increase to NZD $26.69 per hour due to updated median wage in the immigration system. The wage threshold for the construction sector is 90% of the median wage and is valid for 2 years - ending in October 2024.
List of occupations
These are the occupations included in the Sector Agreement Settings for construction and infrastructure: Metal fabricator, Welder, Fitter-Welder, Fitter (General), Painting Trade Workers, Fibrous Plasterer, Solid Plasterer, Wall and Floor Tiler, AC and Refrigeration Mechanic, Bricklayer, Builder’s Labourers, Carpenter, Carpenter and Joiner, Landscape Gardener, Drainage, Sewerage and Stormwater Labourer, Roof Tiler, Glazier, Plumber’s Assistant, Roof Plumber, Floor Finishers, and Stonemasons.
Visa duration and stand-downs
The maximum visa duration for roles that pay below median wage is 2 years. After two years a stand-down period will apply and the migrant won’t be able to apply for another AEWV paying below median wage for at least 12 months. However, the migrant worker subject to the stand-down period can apply for another AEWV as long as it's paid at the median wage or higher.
The offshore recruitment and immigration specialists at Trinity recommend employers to get started on the AEWV process as soon as possible to be able to recruit overseas workers in time for their busy season. With the lowest unemployment rate in New Zealand since 1986 - 3.25%, some industries will struggle (or are already struggling) to find skilled workers in the country to fill their roles, so offshore recruitment is the only way through.
Our team has the knowledge and expertise to present any employer with practical solutions to their offshore recruitment needs and to provide the best immigration advice. We will guide and work with employers throughout the whole process, from the Accreditation of the business (first step on the AEWV process) to the settlement of the migrant worker.
Get in touch with us to learn more and get started!