Several countries and their governments worldwide are praising the steps taken by the New Zealand government and some of its topmost authoritative bodies to ensure the safety and security of the countrymen while gradually fortifying the economic prosperity. Apart from the crucial introduction of the Critical Purpose Visitor Visa, which lets you travel to New Zealand, citing a critical purpose amidst border restrictions, a host of employment reforms and visa extensions aim at holistic development of the nation.

What Is the Essential Skills Pay Rate?

The NZ labor and employment ministry has taken a proactive approach and is working in harmony with the government and the INZ to improve the workplace conditions, wages, and other critical facets that will enhance the situation of workers in the country.

The Essential Skills pay rate depends on the type of Essential Skills Visa and the payment offered to an employee by the NZ government. The pay rate is calculated on a per-hour basis according to the employment agreement provided by the employer. To be considered a median wage employee, they should be above the median wage, which is presently NZD 25.50 an hour.

Calculating the Essential Skills Pay Rate in Different Situations

The Essential Skills pay rate might vary according to different conditions.

  • The NZ employer is bound to pay different hourly rates if an employee works on holidays or works overtime after the duty hours. Further, if your family is also working extra hours, INZ will calculate the pay rate based on the lowest hourly rate. Therefore, if a person earns an hourly wage of $25.50 and $37.50 for any extra work, then a rate of $25.50 will be used to calculate the overall amount
  • If your relative earns for a range of hours, segregate the yearly salary by the maximum number of hours a week. If we consider 52 weeks a year, and if they receive $55,000 a year for 45 hours a week, then per hour wage would be ($55,000 ÷ 52) ÷ 45 hours = $23.50 per hour
  • In some instances, an employee might be working a different number of hours per week. If a worker earns an annual salary of $54,000 but works for 64 hours a week for 2 months, they would be paid ($54,000 ÷ 52) ÷ 64 = $16.23 per hour

Book a consultation with our experts for a detailed insight into pay rate calculations. They will be efficiently removing all your confusion and doubts regarding your Essential Skills pay rate.

How Your Pay Rate Affects Your Visa?

The eligibility of an Essential Skills Work visa entirely depends upon the wage that your employer is willing to pay based on your acquired skills. Whether you are paid less than the median wage or the median wage or more than the median wage, it will determine the following points.

  • The wage will decide the duration of the visa granted to stay in NZ
  • Further, it will allow you to hold an Essential Skills work visa for a maximum period
  • Your annual salary will also decide if you can support your partner’s work visa or a student visa for your dependent children
  • Lastly, you need to leave the country for 1 year once you have stayed here for 3 years. This situation is called a stand-down period

Deductions in Pay Rate

Every employment contract provides reasonable and agreeable deductions for operating expenses such as living, food, goods, and services. However, allowances and incentives are excluded from deduction. Allowances are those expenses that are provided by the employer for tools and office uniforms, while bonuses depend upon the performance of employees working in any organization.

If an employee agrees to the employer’s accommodation arrangements, then a monthly charge can be deducted from their salary. The accommodation cost can be included in the deduction charge is reasonable. Further, it can also be deducted if your relatives agree to the deduction and provide written consent.

Two Jobs With Different Pay Levels

In many cases, an Essential Skills Work visa holder is permitted to hold secondary employment. In such cases, the NZ government will settle on skill level based on the primary employment rate. For example, an employee with two jobs works 40 hours a week and is paid more than the primary job’s median wage. Further, he can only work 10 hours for other jobs and gets paid above the minimum wage. The New Zealand government will consider his main job and classify it as being above the median salary.

Applying for another Essential Skills Work Visa

There is no limit to apply for an Essential Skills Work visa if you are paid above the median wage in NZ. However, certain conditions should be fulfilled before applying for another Essential Skills work visa. Your employer needs to confirm that no New Zealander is available to fill the open job position before hiring an overseas individual. Book a consultation with our immigration advisors to know more about the Essential Skills pay rate and the detailed application procedure for the Essential Skills Work visa.

New Rules for the Essential Skills Work Visa

If you wish your visa to be sponsored by any of your family members, both individuals must check the Essential Skills pay rate. The Essential Skills pay rate can either be at or above the median wage or below the median salary. Your family member can still sponsor you a visa if they are paid below the median wage. But the approval of a visa ultimately depends upon meeting the eligibility requirements by the individual. A below median wage employee can sponsor visas to the following people.

  • They can support a visitor visa to their partner. If you are the spouse, you may benefit from applying for a work visa once you are in New Zealand
  • You may support your dependent children for a visitor or a student visa if you meet an annual minimum income limit of $43,322.76

Now that you are armed with all the latest information about the Essential Skills Work Visa and the applicable pay rates, you can challenge your employer if he is not adhering to the mandates.