Prevent migrant worker exploitation

To prevent migrant exploitation, we are looking at making changes that promote good employment practices, without adding additional compliance costs on businesses that do the right thing.


To report migrant exploitation, contact the MBIE Service Centre on 0800 20 90 20.

To report anonymously, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or fill out a form on link).

To report people trafficking, call New Zealand Police (105) or 111 (if it is an emergency).


We are considering the risks of exploitation that can occur within certain business models. In particular, we are focussing on three business models - subcontracting, franchising and labour hire – because we have heard concerns about how they might be allowing exploitation to occur, and we want to find out if there are ways to prevent this from happening.

We recognise that each of these business models plays an important role in the New Zealand economy and labour market. The models are used by many employers who comply with minimum standards in good faith.

We want to promote good business practices that encourage compliance with minimum employment standards across all businesses, while not adding costs to businesses with good employment practices.  We want to provide a level playing field and fair competition for businesses, and help to build productive, sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

Watch the video introduction

What options are we exploring?

We have four high-level options that we are keen to test before we do more analysis on them:

  • Proposal One: Introduce liability for parties with significant control or influence over an employer that breaches employment standards

  • Proposal Two: Require certain subcontractors and franchisees to meet additional criteria under the employer-assisted visa gateway system

  • Proposal Three: Introduce a labour hire licensing scheme providing certain protections for workers

  • Proposal Four: Prohibit persons convicted of exploitation under the Immigration Act 2009 from managing or directing a company

These ideas are not final proposals yet – we still have work to do on them. We want your opinion on whether these ideas would be viable, practical and effective.

Read more about our proposals to prevent exploitation in the discussion document

Section A: Proposals One to Four - Prevent migrant worker exploitation [DOCX, 132 KB]

How do I give my feedback?

Visit our Have your say - Temporary migrant worker exploitation review page for more information on the different ways to submit your feedback.

All submissions are due by 5pm, 27 November 2019.

Have your say – temporary migrant worker exploitation

Last updated: 17 October 2019