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Minimum wage

Minimum wage rates apply to all employees aged 16 and over, who are full-time, part-time, fixed-term, casual, working from home, and paid by wages, salary, commission or piece rates (some exceptions).

The minimum wage applies to all hours worked. There is no minimum hours requirement. For example, an employee who works only 2 hours at a time must still get the minimum wage for each of these hours, unless the employee and employer have agreed to a higher rate in the employment agreement. Payments for call-outs should also be negotiated in the employment agreement.

Employees have to be paid at least the minimum hourly wage rate for every hour worked:

  • Salaried employees can divide their pay by the number of hours they work in a pay period to make sure they earn the minimum wage.
  • Wage earners can check that their hourly rate is at least the minimum wage and that any extra hours they’re asked to work are also paid at least the minimum wage. Employers and employees may agree to any wage rate as long as it’s not less than the relevant minimum wage rate. For example, starting-out workers must be paid at least the minimum starting-out wage rate, and trainees over 20 must be paid at least the training minimum wage rate.
  • Employees paid piece rates must still be paid the minimum wage for each hour worked.
  • The minimum wage does not apply to people who have a minimum wage exemption permit.

Types of wage rates

There are three different types of minimum wage rates: adult, starting-out and training.

Current minimum wage rates

Minimum wage rates are set by the government and are reviewed each year.

Previous minimum wage rates

Minimum wage rates from 1997–2020.

Minimum wage exemptions

Labour Inspectors may issue minimum wage exemption permits to employees who have a disability that limits them carrying out the requirements of their work.

Agricultural industry

Many employees in the agricultural industry are offered accommodation and other goods and services as part of their employment.

Foreign fishing crews

As part of a foreign fishing crew working in New Zealand, your work visa allows you to work in New Zealand waters until its expiry date.

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