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Changes to working visas

Yesterday’s announcement from the Minister for Immigration, to improve temporary work visas for migrant workers, provides some positive changes but more detail is needed. The Council of Trade Unions fundamentally supports the principle of making work better for everyone in New Zealand; migrant workers and New Zealanders.

“Simplifying the visa process for those wanting to migrate and work in New Zealand is a good step as long as it makes the process fairer. We remain concerned about the ongoing exploitation of migrant workers and urge the Government to act swiftly to separate visas from employers. Currently those on migrant working visas are contingent upon their continued employment with a specific employer. This obviously makes it very difficult for working people to raise concerns about how they are being treated if the consequence is that they will no longer have a working visa,” said CTU President Richard Wagstaff.

“The role of people in union needs to be better recognised in the process of setting sector agreements. We need to be at the negotiating table. It is vital that the setting of these standards compliments and supports existing collective bargaining.”

“Ensuring employers are accredited in order to be eligible to employ working people on temporary working visas is a good step. But more detail about the criteria for accreditation is needed. “

“We look forward to hearing more detail from Minister Lees-Galloway on the details of this policy,” Wagstaff said.