Minimum wage

Minimum wage rates apply to all employees aged 16 and over.

The minimum wage applies to employees who are:

  • full-time, part-time, fixed-term, casual, working from home
  • paid by wages, salary, commission or piece rates (with some exceptions).

Employees must be paid at least the minimum hourly wage rate for every hour worked, unless they agreed to a higher rate in their employment agreement. Payments for call-outs should also be negotiated in the employment agreement.

Salaried employees – Full-time employees can divide their pay by the number of hours they work in a pay period to make sure they earn the minimum wage. Part-time employees should have their pay specified per hour, day or week and these amounts must be equal to or higher than the relevant minimum specified in the Minimum Wage Order.

Wage earners – can check their hourly rate is at least the minimum wage. Any extra hours they’re asked to work must also be at least minimum wage.

  • Starting-out workers – must be paid at least the minimum starting-out wage rate.
  • Trainees over 20 – must be paid at least the training minimum wage rate.

Employees paid piece rates – must be paid at least the minimum wage for each hour worked.

Exceptions – the minimum wage does not apply to people who have a minimum wage exemption permit. 

KiwiSaver – An employer is obliged to pay their compulsory employer KiwiSaver contribution in addition to the employee’s salary or wages, which must be at least the minimum wage. So if the parties negotiate a total remuneration package that includes the employer’s compulsory KiwiSaver contribution, then the employee must be paid at least the minimum wage plus the employer’s KiwiSaver contribution.

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 1997–2023.

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.

Page last revised: 06 July 2022

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