The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Minimum wage is increasing – is your business ready?

Information and advice from

As a business owner or manager, you need to be ready for the minimum wage rates increase from 1 April 2024.

The main details:

  • Adult minimum wage will go up from $22.70 to $23.15 per hour.
  • Starting-out and training minimum wage will go up from $18.16 to $18.52 per hour.
  • All rates are before tax and any lawful deductions, for example, PAYE tax, student loan repayment, child support.
  • If you have not yet talked to your accountant, payroll provider or your finance/HR teams now is the time. It is also an opportunity to check your employment records, processes and systems are current.

How to prepare for the increases

Advise the team
If you have employees on the minimum wage, let them know about the increase they will be getting. You should send them a letter or email (variation of employment contract) advising them of the new wage.

Check your payroll systems and processes
Make sure your payroll provider, accountant, lawyer, HR, or finance people are ready to implement the change.

If your system is manual or computer-based, you should check and confirm the settings will be adjusted for the new rates.

    If any of your employees are on starting-out or training wages, now is a good time to check when they will be eligible to move onto the adult rate.

    If any employment agreements (contracts) are not current or you did not give one to your employees, now is an ideal time to discuss with them in good faith. Update the contract with any terms and conditions that were agreed to by both parties before the contracts were last reviewed. Make sure they include all the mandatory clauses a contract should have by law. Another useful tool is the employment agreement builder if your employees do not have one.

    Employee pay relativity
    You may also wish to consider potential impacts on your business due to internal wage relativity and external benchmarking. For example, how employees are paid compared to each other, and how your pay rates compare to others in your industry or sector. Employees on higher wages may want to negotiate a pay increase to keep the relative difference.

    Update your business budget
    You should add any expected increased costs to your short and medium-term budget forecasts. This will help you plan for and manage the effect of higher wage and holiday pay liabilities.

    Upskill on minimum wage obligations
    Now is also an ideal time to ensure you know the details around the minimum wage, including that:

    • It applies to all hours worked, unless both parties agree to a higher rate in the employment agreement;
    • It applies to employees paid with a salary or piece rates or commission.

    For more information on the minimum wage, click here.

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