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The New Zealand government has advised that the minimum wage rate for adults will be increasing by $0.75 to NZ$16.50 an hour effective 1 April 2018.

In New Zealand, the adult minimum wage rate applies to all employees aged over 16 years who are not classified as “starting out” workers or “trainees” who are involved in supervising or training other workers.

The adult minimum wage includes young employees who oversee or supervise the performance of another employee or who instructs another employee in the performance of their job.

The “starting out” in training rates will increase by $.40 to NZ$13.20 an hour.

The “starting out” minimum wage applies to workers who are 16 or 17 years of age and who haven’t done 6 months of continuous employment service with the current employer. Once they have completed 6 months with the one employer they are no longer regarded as “starting out” workers and must be paid the adult minimum wage.

With regard to 18 and 19-year-old employees, they will be regarded as “starting out” if they are being paid a Social Security benefit for 6 months or longer and they haven’t completed 6 months continuous employment with the employer since they started being paid the benefit.

The benefits would include:

  • domestic purposes benefit
  • emergency benefit
  • independent youth benefit
  • invalid’s benefit
  • jobseeker support
  • sickness benefit
  • sole parent support
  • supported living payment
  • unemployment benefit
  • widow’s benefit
  • young parent payment and youth payment

16 to 19-year-old employees

If you have workers on either the starting out or training rates of pay, it might be opportune to check when they will be eligible to move to the adult rate.

The information in this article is indicative of NZ tax rules and changes and not intended to be complete for all intents or purposes and does not constitute advice. It is recommended that you obtain professional advice, suited to your particular circumstances, from us before acting on anything you read.