Median Wage Exemption for Bus Drivers
The median wage increased to $29.66 per hour on 27 February 2023. To hire under the Accredited Employer work visa scheme, employers must pay at or above this rate unless an exemption applies due to an industry or sector agreement.
Importantly, Bus Drivers have now been added to this exemption list and can be paid $28 per hour. This will allow the grant of a three year work visa, subject to meeting other eligibility requirements, which then sets them up for a potential pathway to residency.
To be eligible for the wage rate exemption, the role must either:
- be with an employer who has signed the All Parties Memorandum of Understanding on Improving Bus Driver Pay and Conditions; or
- be a school bus driver on a Ministry of Education-funded school bus service.
Transport Sector Residence Applications to Open
There is further good news for the transport sector. The following roles will now have a 2 year work to residence pathway:
- bus drivers working for an eligible employer in an eligible role (as set out above);
- truck drivers primarily driving vehicles that require a class 4 or 5 licence;
- ship’s masters (skippers) — who hold Skipper Restricted Limits for 500GT endorsement, or higher qualification by the time they apply for residence; and
- deck hands — must hold Qualified Deck Crew or higher qualification by the time they apply for residence.
Applications open from 29 September 2023.
These are some significant changes and we encourage workers in the sector to reach out for a confidential eligibility assessment or simply to talk about your options. Our Immigration Special Counsel, Hetish Lochan is contactable at [email protected] or 03 441 2976.