What Are the Minimum Rights for Employees in New Zealand?


Employees retain certain rights in New Zealand, with these rights being designed to ensure all workplaces remain fair. Every employee in the country needs to understand the rules as well as when and how they apply. In addition, workers must understand their rights and responsibilities under the law. These laws cover areas such as the employment contract in NZ and workplace bullying in NZ.


Businesses are required to pay employees the agreed-upon wage.

An employer remains responsible for ensuring the workplace is safe at all times.

Workers need to be provided with a written copy of their employment contract in NZ regardless of their work status, and this contract needs to lay out the terms and conditions.

The terms and conditions of an employment contract are required to meet or exceed the minimum rights as established by law.

Employees are to be provided with a minimum of four weeks of paid leave each year and 11 paid holidays.

When employees are required to work on a public holiday, they are entitled to payment of time and a half.

Each employee, after working for a company for six months, receives five days paid sick leave each year. Fifteen days may be carried over from year to year, but an employee may never have more than 20 sick days per annum.

Minimum wage must be paid to all employees, and overtime must be paid at the minimum wage per hour.

Employees are entitled to meal and rest breaks with rest breaks being paid time on the clock.

Workers must be allowed to serve on a jury when required, yet employers are not required to pay them for any time missed from work for this purpose.

Bereavement leave is required.

Employers must provide parental leave up to 52 weeks.



Workers must care out their duties with care and competence.

Employees must comply with any conditions laid out in their visa and apply for a variation in conditions if they wish to change them.


If there is any confusion regarding your rights and responsibilities and the rules that apply to employers, contact us at Employment Law Training (www.elt.co.nz). Everyone deserves to be treated fairly in the workplace, and New Zealand employment law ensures this. In order to prevent workplace disputes make sure these rights and rules are understood by all and promote an amicable work environment.


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