Important information for workers in New Zealand under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) policy

As a RSE worker it is important to know what rights and obligations you have at work and being safe in the workplace.

Here is some practical information about different things you can face while you are at work. It will help answer common questions regarding your work rights, pay, how to stay safe at work, and solving common problems.

Your RSE visa allows you to work for the Recognised Seasonal Employer that has offered you employment until it expires or is revoked. New Zealand has rules regarding your rights as an employee and what you can do. It is very important that you are aware of these.


RSE pre-departure resources (Get Ready Pack and DVD) are available to prepare workers before they travel to New Zealand and to help assure they do everything possible to benefit from their travel and working experience under the RSE Policy in the Viticulture and Horticulture industry.

RSE workers should receive a Get Ready Pack including:

And have watched the RSE Get Ready DVD:

RSE ‘Get Ready’ DVD

A ‘Get Ready Orientation’ DVD was produced by the Department to complement the RSE Get Ready booklet. If you would like a copy of this DVD please contact us.

Pay Slip

Note: A payslip a worker receives may look a bit different and the rates of pay may also be different. The RSE employer will explain to a worker these differences on payslip and rate of pay.


For employers, there are four steps in the RSE process:

Step 1 – Becoming a Recognised Seasonal Employer

The first step in the process for employers is applying for recognition as a recognised seasonal employer (RSE). To find out about the requirements you will need to meet, and how to apply for RSE status, see the RSE requirements pages.

Step 2 – Getting an ATR

Once you have RSE status you need to apply for an agreement to recruit (ATR) workers from offshore. To find out about the requirements you will need to meet, and how to apply for an ATR, see the ATR requirements pages.

Step 3 – Offering a job and employing overseas workers

When you have an ATR you can make a job offer. Your prospective worker will need to provide us with evidence of your offer to get a visa from offshore (see the how a worker applies for a limited visa page for details on where a worker can submit their RSE limited visa application). Then they can come to New Zealand, work for the length of time their visa is granted for, and return home. To find out about the requirements the job offer must meet, how you can help the workers that you want to apply, and where they can submit their application, see the employment agreement page.

Step 4 – Bringing your workers back next season

Finally, if you want to get your workers back for another season, they may be able to return to New Zealand under a new ATR if the conditions of their visa have been met, and if there is a continued labour shortage.

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FOR employers


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