New measures to better protect migrant workers from exploitation came into force on 1 July 2021. The changes are part of a wider Government initiative to combat all forms of exploitation.
· A new visa to support migrants to leave mistreatment and exploitative work situations quickly and remain lawfully in New Zealand. This visa will be valid for up to 6 months.
· A new dedicated 0800 number (Reporting migrant exploitation – phone number) and web form (Reporting form – Migrant exploitation ) to make it easier to report migrant worker mistreatment or exploitation at the workplace. Anyone who sees or suspects a breach of minimum employment rights can report it. It does not have to be the migrant being exploited.
· Combined efforts from Immigration New Zealand and Employment New Zealand Labour Inspectors to investigate non-compliant employers.
The primary focus of these new initiatives is to make it easier for migrant workers to report exploitation and ensure migrants are able to leave exploitative situations as quickly as possible.
The changes will be supported by a substantial increase in funding for compliance and enforcement through Employment New Zealand and Immigration New Zealand. This will help ensure they’re better resourced to respond to reports of exploitation and take action.