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Employment law update

By Aimee Elia - 31 Mar 2021

There are several changes on the horizon that will change employment relationships in New Zealand. The Government has accepted 22 recommendations made by the Holidays Act Taskforce which will be rolled out over the coming months. Other Labour Party campaign policies such as Fair Pay Agreements, pay equity and Living Wage guarantees are in various stages of implementation. Martelli McKegg offers a snapshot of the changes below.

Minimum Wage

As of 1 April 2021, the adult minimum wage increases to $20.00 per hour. Starting Out / Training minimum wage increases to $16.00 an hour.

Sick Leave

Annual entitlements to sick leave will double from 5 to 10 days per year and new employees will accrue leave from their first day of employment.

Bereavement Leave

As of 30 March 2021, men and women are entitled to take up to three days' bereavement leave in the event of a miscarriage or still-birth.

Matariki Holiday

Friday 24 June 2022 will be the first public holiday celebrating Matariki in New Zealand.

Living Wage Guarantee

This is currently a voluntary scheme. Under the proposed changes, the guarantee will be compulsory in the public sector. This will include cleaners and security guards working in government buildings such as the courts, police stations and WINZ centres. The living wage is currently $22.10 per hour.

Leave entitlements

Changes to the Holidays Act 2003 are intended to make it easier for employers to calculate leave entitlements. Employers will also have to provide payslips which include holiday and leave information.

Dependent Contractors

Consultation is being undertaken on proposed legislative protections for vulnerable workers and dependent contractors.


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