Immigration New Zealand has implemented further changes following Cyclone Gabrielle, to support workers who are part of the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme.
The scheme allows New Zealand employers to hire overseas people to work in fruit, vegetable and grape-growing industries.
The changes to the RSE scheme take effect from 1 March 2023 and are as follows:
- A temporary freeze on accommodation cost increases. Deductions for accommodation must be equal to or less than the deductions employers previously submitted to INZ.
- Employers involved in the recruitment or management of RSE workers must complete all Employment New Zealand employer e-modules at least once during each RSE status period.
- INZ may contact employers at any point during the RSE period for proof that the employer e-modules have been completed.
- For any workers onshore affected by Cyclone Gabrielle, they will continue to receive a minimum of 30 hours per week at $22.10 per hour.
- A worker on an RSE visa can work for another RSE employer in the same region for up to one month without needing to apply for another visa. Their original employer will need to agree to this and will still be responsible for them.
Employers can also apply for a Limited visa to make it easier for their workers to move to other locations or RSE employers. There is no fee for this visa, and the original expiry date remains.
We hope that these changes will make the RSE scheme more accessible and beneficial for all parties involved. If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.