Immigration New Zealand has confirmed an increase in the minimum pay and a new sick leave entitlement for Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers that will come into effect from 1 October 2023.
RSE worker pay increase
From 1 October 2023 employers must pay their RSE workers the minimum wage (currently $22.70) plus 10%. This means at the current minimum wage, RSE workers must be paid at least $24.97 per hour for actual hours worked.
The pay increase applies to all RSE workers from 1 October 2023, including those granted RSE limited visas prior to that date.
Paid sick leave adjusted
RSE workers are currently entitled to sick leave after they have worked for six months, however,
most RSE workers can only stay in New Zealand for up to seven months during any 11-month period, so they largely miss out on sick leave.
From 1 October, RSE workers granted an RSE Limited Visa will receive a new sick leave entitlement giving them paid sick leave from their first day on the job.
They will receive 10 days paid sick leave – two days when they start work, and an additional two days each month until they reach their 10-day entitlement on their four-month anniversary.
If a worker transfers from one RSE employer to another, the new employment agreement must also comply with these pay and sick leave requirements.
This change does not apply to RSE Limited Visas granted before 1 October.
For any questions regarding this update or any further immigration matters, please contact Arno Nothnagel, our NZ Immigration Director, here.