New Zealand Increases Pay and Leave for RSE Workers

Effective October 1, 2023, New Zealand employers in the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Scheme must pay workers at least the minimum wage +10% for actual hours worked. This currently works out to be $24.97 per hour.

Key Impacts
  • The increased pay entitlements include RSE workers on current RSE Limited Visas granted before October 1, 2023.
  • Employers who fail to update wages in line with the new minimum hourly wage would breach their Agreement to Recruit (ATR) commitments.
  • RSE workers will also be entitled to paid sick leave from the day they start work, starting with 2 days, and an additional 2 days per month until they reach their 10-day entitlement after 4 months. Currently, RSE workers get sick leave entitlements after working for 6 months, under the Holidays Act 2023.
    • The sick leave change does not apply to workers granted RSE Limited Visas before October 1, 2023.
  • If a worker transfers from one RSE employer to another, the new employment agreement must also comply with minimum pay and sick leave requirements.

A review of the RSE Scheme is currently under way.

Erickson Insights

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to monitor developments and share updates as more news is available. Please contact your employer or EIG attorney if you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions.