Employment law in New Zealand is
divided into two types of employment rights. Some
rights listed set the minimum wage and benefits
employees must be given, and the others set the
manner in which employees should be treated in their
place of work.
Employers are required by law to provide their
employees with a working place which is safe, with
proper supervision, equipment and training.
Employees are, in their turn,
required take much care in keeping themselves and
their colleague safe during the work course.
The Health and Safety site of the Department of Labor lists
in great detail the obligations and rights of employers and
employees in relation to safety and health.
Since the year 2000, written agreements of employment have
been mandatory in New Zealand. Such agreements can be either
individual or collective. To aid business managers and
owners with drafting employment agreements, the Employment
Agreement Builder was created by the Department of Labor.
Minimum wage has two levels. One level is for new entrant
employees from ages 16 to 17 or those who are on the minimum
training wage, and another level for employees aged 16 and
Employees must be given at least minimum wage if
they are: fulltime employees, casual or part-time
employees, home-based workers, or paid completely or
partially by commission on a piece rate.
Currently, the New Zealand minimum wage for adults
is NZ$12.50/hour. This means NZ$100 for an
eight-hour day, and NZ$500 for a 40-hour week.
The minimum wage rate for new entrants and training
is NZ$10/hour which is NZ$80 for an 8-hour day, and
NZ$400 for a 40-hour week.
New Zealand employees are entitled to 4 weeks paid
yearly holidays, which is usually taken on the
anniversary of the date on which employee started
But the leave can be
availed of at any time, subject to the agreement between the
employer and the employee. The opportunity to take a
continuous leave of 2 to 4 weeks must be given employees
should they wish to do so.
If an employee should resign from a company prior to
completing a whole year of employment, the employer
owes him only 8 percent of the gross earnings as
holiday pay. Each year, New Zealand has eleven 11
public holidays as listed in the 2003 Holiday Act.
If a holiday occurs on a normal working day, employees are
entitled to payment for that day.
If an employee
works on the public holiday, he must be compensated
for the greater of time plus half or the rate
written in the employment agreement. Also, if the
holiday falls on a normal working day, employees are
also given the privilege to another holiday.Employees who have been with the company for 6 months are
entitled to sick leave, parental leave, and bereavement
Every year, employees are entitled to at least 5 days of
paid sick leave. Those leave days can be used for
themselves, their partner, or any person depending on them
for care during events of injury or sickness. Sick leave
that is unused can be stored until up to 15 days, making it
possible to avail of a total of 20 days entitlement.