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IR Insights: NZ Minimum Pay & Closing the Loophole

NZ Minimum Rate of Pay Rise


Last month the New Zealand government announced that the adult minimum wage will rise to $23.15 per hour from 1 April 2024. This represents a modest increase of 2% and places the NZ minimum rate of pay not far behind their Australian counterparts (at $23.23 per hour). Training and starting out wages will also increase to $18.52 per hour, representing 80% of the new adult minimum wage. 

 

If your business is based in NZ, we recommend you start to identify any employees that will need an increase from 1 April 2024 and get everything in place to ensure this obligation is met. For those employers currently paying employees above the minimum hourly rate of pay, there is no requirement to offer an increase but, be prepared to be asked questions about potential pay rises! 

 

If you want to understand whether your current wage rates are competitive in your industry, please head to our Contact Us page and one of our consultants would be more than happy to support you. 



 Closing the Loophole on Australian Legislation Changes


The Australian Government has passed new workplace laws as part of its "closing the loopholes" legislation. The changes that have been passed will come into effect between now and as far out as 2025. 

 

From 15 December 2023 the following changes were affected:   

 

  • Use of Labour Hire Workers. Labour Hire Company's now have an obligation to pay Labour Hire Workers that are engaged by your business, at least the same rate of pay as you pay your employees – so you may be asked to disclose your wage information to them.  

  • Discrimination Laws. Stronger protections have been put in place to protect employees from discriminatory action on the basis they are experiencing Family and Domestic Violence.  

  • Small Business Redundancy Exemptions. Larger employers that become a small business due to a series of rolling redundancies will still be required to pay redundancy pay when their staff numbers drop below 14 employees.  

  • Workplace Delegates Rights. A union workplace delegate will now be able to communicate with members and potential members about their industrial interests and have reasonable access to the workplace and facilities to meet with employees. 


  • The Right to Disconnect. Employees cannot be reprimanded for refusing to take unreasonable work calls or answer emails in their unpaid personal time. An employee will be able to raise a complaint internally first, and then apply to the FWC for an order to stop unreasonable out of hours contact. The right to disconnect laws will begin 6 months after given royal assent; expect further updates before the end of the year.


From July 2024 industrial manslaughter will be criminalised nationally, with maximum penalties of 25 years imprisonment for an individual or $18 million for a body corporate. 

 

In 2024 and beyond, you are likely to see revised definitions of a casual worker, and criminalisation of wage underpayments. Keep your eyes peeled for further information!  

 

If you have any questions about any of the updates listed above, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

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