17 May 2011

Caregivers' permits turned down 'despite quake work'

11:59 am on 17 May 2011

A Filipino rest-home worker in Christchurch says many migrants worked long hours following the February earthquake, only to have their work permit applications rejected by the Immigration Department.

Joselyn Ebuen has been working as a caregiver in New Zealand for three years and helps others with visa problems.

She told Nine to Noon several migrant workers were denied permits last week, despite working 18-hour shifts following the earthquake when some of their New Zealand co-workers had to move out of the city due to the stress.

BUPA aged-care services chief executive Dwayne Crombie says his organisation met with Immigration New Zealand last week to argue the case for three Filipino workers it wanted to retain

He says they are all very experienced but the department still views the work as unskilled, even though it is hard to get senior caregivers in Christchurch at present.

Mr Crombie says the difference between entry-level and experienced caregivers needs to be recognised in visa applications.