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Pay day

When and how often an employee is paid (eg weekly, fortnightly, monthly) varies between workplaces and will often be in employment agreements or workplace policies.

To make sure an employee gets their first pay paid on time, they need to give their employer all the right details, such as their IRD number, KiwiSaver information, and bank account number (if that’s how they will be paid).

If an employee doesn't think they’re getting paid the right amount or on time, they should talk to their employer and ask them why. If they're not happy after that, then contact us for advice.

Pay period

  • The pay period is the time period that an employee has been paid for in their pay. If they're paid on a fortnightly basis the pay period would be 2 weeks.
  • For employees who receive wages, they will usually be paid after the pay period. For example Mike is paid on a Wednesday, for the pay period from Monday to Saturday of the previous week.
  • For employees who receive a salary, they may be paid before the end of the pay period. For example, Shanti is paid fortnightly, in the middle of her pay period. This means Shanti is paid one week in advance (ie before she does the work related to one week of her pay), and one week in arrears (ie after she has done the work related to one week of her pay).

Timing of the payment

Pay for annual holidays

  • If an employee takes annual holidays, they must be paid for the entire holiday before the holiday starts unless they agree to be paid in the normal pay payment pattern (this should be agree to in writing to make sure they both understand).
  • If the employee’s employment is ending, the employer must pay the holiday pay in the employee’s final pay. The final pay must be made within the pay period immediately relating to the end of employment.
  • For a casual worker who does not work regularly it may not be practical to provide holidays.
  • If an employee is on fixed-term agreement for us to 12 months, they may get payment for annual holidays paid as part of their regular pay (if they agree to this in writing and if holiday pay is recorded as a separate item on their playsip) instead of when they take an annual holiday or their employment ends.

Pay for public holidays

An employee must be paid for public holidays in their pay for the pay period in which the public holiday falls. The amount an employee is paid for a public holiday depends on whether or not they work on the public holiday. If they work on a public holiday they will be paid at a rate of at least time and a half.

Pay for sick or bereavement leave

An employee should be paid for sick or bereavement leave in their pay for the pay period during which they took leave, and at the rate they would usually be paid on that day.


Employers don't have to provide a payslip (unless it’s in the employment agreement), but these are useful tools (whether on paper or electronic) to make sure that the employer and employee have the same understanding of how the pay is made up. If an employee doesn't get a payslip, they can ask their employer to show or give a copy of the wage and time records, and this will show the pay rate, hours worked and how much the employee was paid.

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