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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 your first pay is paid on time, you need to give your employer all the right details, such as your IRD number, KiwiSaver information (and your bank account number if that’s how you will be paid) so that they can pay you.

If you don’t think you’re getting paid the right amount or on time, you should talk to your employer and ask them why. If you’re not happy after that, contact us for advice.

Pay day

Employees are usually paid on a regular day each week, fortnight or month. For example your pay day might be every Thursday, or every second Wednesday. The law doesn’t say how often an employee should be paid or what day they should be paid on but this is included in most employment agreements. If your pay day isn’t included in the employment agreement that your employer offers you, you should ask your employer how often and when you will be paid before you sign it and ask for it to be included so that there is no confusion. Employers need to consider their good faith obligations and be reasonable when deciding how often their employees will be paid.

Pay period

  • The pay period is the time period that you have been paid for in your pay. If you’re paid on a fortnightly basis your pay period would be 2 weeks.
  • For employees who receive wages, you will usually be paid after the pay period. For example, Mike is paid on a Monday, for the pay period from Monday last week, until the Friday last 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 you take annual holidays, you must be paid for all of the holiday before the holiday starts unless you agree to be paid in your normal pay payment pattern. You and your employer should agree to this in writing to make sure you both understand.
  • If your employment is ending, your employer must pay your holiday pay in your final pay.
  • If you work so irregularly or intermittently that it isn’t practical for you to get 4 weeks off on annual holidays, or if you are on a fixed term agreement of less than 12 months, you may agree with your employer to get 8% of your gross earnings as holiday pay with your regular pay instead of taking holidays. If you agree to this, it must be recorded in your employment agreement and recorded as a separate identifiable item in pay records (and should show in your payslip).

Pay for public holidays

You must be paid for public holidays in your pay for the pay period in which the public holiday falls if it is an otherwise working day for you. (If you work on a public holiday you must be paid at a rate of at least time and a half).

Pay for sick or bereavement leave

You must be paid for sick or bereavement leave in your pay for the pay period during which you took leave, and at the rate you would usually be paid for that day. If your employer requires you to prove you were sick then they don’t have to pay you sick leave until you have given them the proof.

Pay for alternative holidays

You must be paid for any alternative holiday you take in the pay for the period that the alternative holiday was taken. If you haven’t taken an alternative holiday that you are entitled to, when your employment ends you must be paid it out in your final pay.

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