Further protection for migrant workers

Published: 30 June 2023

The Government is taking further steps to protect vulnerable workers and champion human rights with the passing of the Worker Protection (Migrant and Other Employees) Bill.

New safeguards to protect migrant workers from exploitation(external link) —  Beehive.gov.nz

This is another positive step towards addressing migrant worker exploitation in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Worker Protection Bill will bring in new infringement offences, which will be used as tools to target non-compliant employer breaches at the lower level. This is important as lower-level breaches often lead to more serious exploitation.

The Bill will also allow people convicted of migrant exploitation and people trafficking to be disqualified from managing or directing companies in Aotearoa New Zealand. This will help to prevent people from leveraging corporate structures to exploit migrants.

The ability to address offences before they escalate into more serious exploitation will make a difference to our vulnerable populations.

These offences range from non-compliance with minimum employment standards such as underpayment of wages, through to forced labour.

The Worker Protection (Migrant and Other Employees) Bill will introduce the remaining changes from the 2020 Temporary Migrant Worker Exploitation Review.

The first changes began in 2021 and included a dedicated 0800 number and reporting tools, the Migrant Exploitation Protection Visa, and liaison support services for victims of migrant exploitation, with positive initial results.

Find out more here:

Addressing temporary migrant worker exploitation

MBIE media contact

Email: media@mbie.govt.nz