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Exemption list - AEWV Roles Exempt from Paying the Median Wage

If you intend to hire migrants on an Accredited Employer Work Visa and the role is included in the exemption list, you can do so even where the pay is below the median wage. However, it is important to note that there are specific thresholds that apply to the pay based on the role, and conditions exist for visas granted when paying below the median wage. Alternatively, you have the option to pay the median wage, which would result in visas being granted for up to 5 years. Currently, the median wage is $29.66 per hour.


Stand-down Periods

Stand-down periods apply to AEWV holders who are paid below the median wage. During these periods, individuals may be required to spend a specific duration outside of New Zealand before they can obtain another work visa for employment with wages below the median threshold. The length of the stand-down period varies depending on the type of visa and the sector in which they are employed, typically ranging from 4 to 12 months.


If an AEWV holder is paid below the median wage and their visa is about to expire, they have the option to transition to another visa type or apply for a new AEWV for a role that meets or exceeds the median wage. However, it's important to note that any additional time spent in New Zealand during this transition period does not count towards fulfilling the stand-down period requirement.

 
The Exemption List

The exemption list is comprised of two main categories: the uncapped sectors, and the capped sectors. This means they may or may not have a set number of migrant workers they can hire and pay below the median wage each year.


The Uncapped Sectors

The uncapped sector agreements cover the below sectors, which do not have a set number of migrant workers that can be hired and paid below the median wage each year.

Care Workforce

Exemption period: These roles are exempt from paying the median wage threshold until October 2024.

Sector wage threshold: $26.16/hour or above

Length of visa: visas are granted up to 24 months, followed by a 12-month stand-down period unless the wages are subsequently increased to the median wage.

  • Kaiawhina (Hauora) (Maori Health Assistant) (411512)

  • Disabilities Services Officer (411712)

  • Residential Care Officer (411715)

  • Aged or Disabled Carer (423111)

  • Nursing Support Worker (423312)

  • Personal Care Assistant (423313)

  • Therapy Aide (423314)

  • Child or Youth Residential Care Assistant (423411)

  • Diversional Therapist (411311)

Tourism & Hospitality

Seasonal Snow & Adventure Tourism

Construction & Infrastructure

Transportation

The Capped Sectors

The agreements regarding the capped sectors came into force on 31 October 2022, and will be in place for 2 years.

Meat Processing Sector

Annual cap: 320 places.

Sector wage threshold: $25.51/hour or above

Length of visa: visas are granted up to 7 months, followed by a 4-month stand-down period unless the wages are subsequently increased to the median wage.

  • Meat Process Worker (831311)

Seafood Processing Sector

 

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