Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is making changes as part of a review of the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme to improve care for workers and efficiency across the seasonal employer sector.
INZ is also working with the Government to consider additional changes to support the scheme as part of Cyclone Gabrielle recovery.
From 1 March 2023:
There will be a temporary freeze on accommodation cost increases. Deductions for accommodation must be equal to or less than the deductions employers previously submitted to INZ.
RSE 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. However, INZ understands it may take time to embed this requirement into their business.
Effects of Cyclone Gabrielle for RSE workers
Cyclone Gabrielle devastated some of the traditional seasonal work regions of New Zealand. INZ is working with its Pacific partners to help ensure RSE workers can continue to work in New Zealand if they wish to.
RSE workers will:
Options for onshore RSE workers
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 of onshore RSE workers affected by the cyclone can apply for a RSE limited visa to make it easier for their workers to move to other locations or RSE employers.
With this visa they:
INZ will contact RSE employers directly with application details for the RSE limited visa.
For RSE status applications received on and after 1 March 2023, INZ will consider the effects of Cyclone Gabrielle when assessing applications. For RSE employers this will include the requirement to complete the employer e-modules.
Supplementary Seasonal Employer (SSE) settings
Applications for SSE work visas made on or before 31 December 2022 will be considered based on the requirements during COVID-19. Any application after this date must meet the standard requirements.
Details on this can be found on the SSE application page on the INZ website.