Immigration Instructions already provide that a skills match reports must be provided from MSD for ANZSCO skill level 4 and 5 positions. The tests include that the employer must show genuine efforts to recruit, that the position is financially sustainable (that could be difficult for employers who have applied for the COVID 19 Wage Subsidy) and that no New Zealand resident or citizen is available to do the work or could be trained to do so.
Since March 2020, the labour market has dramatically changed with thousands of skilled New Zealand citizens and residents returning from overseas, others displaced from their existing employment and record numbers applying for jobseeker benefits.
On 13th May 2020 Immigration New Zealand, noted that:
“Immigration officers may require updated information when assessing Essential Skills work visa applications that the employment offer remains valid and continues to be sustainable, and that there remain no New Zealanders available regionally and able to do the work on offer.
“Concerns that New Zealanders may be now available, or that employment may not now be genuine and sustainable will be considered potentially prejudicial information (PPI) and applicants will be given an opportunity to comment and provide further information before a decision is made. This will allow applicants to seek further information from their employer regarding the possible increased recent availability of New Zealanders, and confirmation that the employment remains valid, and provide any other relevant information they believe addresses the concerns raised.
It has never been more important for employers to seek advice when compiling reports on efforts to advertise and recruit and in seeking to make a case to employ a migrant. Of course it is also important to ensure that employers do not lose highly skilled non-citizen or resident staff that would put the viability of their business at risk and therefore the jobs of other staff. Pacific Legal has assisted a number of employers in these difficult situations.