17 September 2015, Scoop Independent News

Workplace Relations and Safety and Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse and the Philippines Secretary of Labour and Employment Ms Rosalinda Baldoz have today signed a bilateral Arrangement on the recruitment and treatment of Filipino migrant workers.

“New Zealand greatly values the contribution Filipino workers make to New Zealand’s labour force – particularly in areas such as the Canterbury rebuild,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“Between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2015, INZ approved a total of 5,614 temporary work visas specifically linked to the Canterbury rebuild. The top nationality during this period was the Philippines with 2,568.

“With such a significant number of Filipino workers coming to New Zealand to help with the Canterbury rebuild, we want to ensure these workers are treated fairly and not exploited.”

The Arrangement signed today is intended to reduce the vulnerability and potential for exploitation of workers by improving the transparency of recruitment processes and ensuring compliance with both countries’ employment and immigration requirements.

“The Arrangement complements a range of Government initiatives aimed at ensuring migrant workers in New Zealand are treated well.

“These include the Immigration Amendment Act 2015, which significantly strengthens penalties for employers who exploit migrant workers; a package of additional protections for migrant workers in New Zealand to support the Canterbury rebuild; and a substantial increase in the resourcing of labour inspectors and immigration compliance officers.”

A copy of the Arrangement is available here.



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