30-day warning for immigrant workers
Last updated 13:48 23/07/2009

Immigration New Zealand will tell tourism and hospitality workers seeking renewals of temporary work permits whether they are likely to get one a month before the expiry date, Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman says.

The procedure is set up in a new industry agreement and is being trialled for those two industries but may be extended to others later. The 30 day period would give workers and their employers the opportunity to plan ahead.

Employers were encouraged to talk to Work and Income about their staffing needs 90 days before their employee's temporary work permit expires, Dr Coleman said.

"Currently, workers and employers are faced with uncertainty about when to begin talking to Immigration New Zealand about further permits," he said.

"This makes it difficult for workers to manage their affairs and for employers to manage their staffing needs."

Dr Coleman said in some parts of the country tourism relied heavily on overseas workers.

"It's not a change in policy, and it's important to realise that with rising unemployment when suitable New Zealanders are available new work permits won't be issued," Dr Coleman said.

"However, in situations where New Zealanders aren't available, employers will be able to access the staff they need. It's about employers communicating their needs and government departments responding in a timely manner."

From here.