Minimum wage went up on 1 April 2017... Employers, are you paying the right amount?

The minimum wage applies to all paid employees aged 16 and older, although there are different rates if your employee is 16 or 17 and is new to the workforce or if they are completing training. 

As an employer, you’ll need to keep up-to-date with the latest minimum pay rates and pay your employees at least the current minimum rate.

There are three rates:

Adult minimum wage $15.75 per hour -  The adult minimum wage applies to all employees aged 16 and over who aren’t starting-out workers or trainees, and all employees who are involved in supervising or training other employees.  This is the minimum wage most widely used by Kiwi businesses of all shapes and sizes. 

Starting-out wage $12.60 per hour - The starting-out wage applies solely to workers aged between 16 and 19 and who are entering the workforce for the first time. 

Starting-out workers are: 

  • Aged 16-17 and have worked for you for less than six months.
  • Aged 18-19 and have been paid a specified social security benefit for six months or more, and who haven’t yet completed six months continuous employment with any employer since they started being paid a benefit. After six months continuous employment with a single employer, they must be paid at least the adult minimum wage rate.
  • Aged 16-19 and required by their employment agreement to undertake industry training for at least 40 credits a year to become qualified. 

Training minimum wage $12.60 per hour - The training minimum wage applies to employees aged 20 years or over who are completing recognised industry training involving at least 60 credits in order to become qualified.

Employing school-age workers - There is no minimum wage for employees who under 16 years of age. If you employ under-16s, you must not let their work get in the way of attending school. 

Paying Fairly
In addition to paying the legal minimum wage or higher, you’ll need to ensure your pay policies are as fair as possible.

It’s important to remember that waged employees need to be paid for actual hours worked. This means paying employees at least the minimum hourly wage for any extra time worked over an eight-hour day (accounting for meal and rest breaks). 

Paying employees fairly also means:

Women and men must receive the same pay rates for doing the same or substantially similar work

You cannot discriminate on the basis of an employee’s colour, race, ethnic or national origins, gender (including pregnancy or childbirth status), marital or family status, age, disability, religious or ethical belief, political opinion, sexual orientation or union activity. 

Information provided by Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Back to News