Up and coming changes – employers need to know this

Up and coming changes – employers need to know this

Minimum Wage

Is set to increase on 1 April 2021 to:

  • $20.00 an hour for the adult minimum wage,
  • $16.00 an hour for both the starting-out and training wage.

Holidays Act

On 23 February 2021, our government has accepted all of the Holidays Act Taskforce’s recommended changes, which are designed to improve the interpretation, understanding and certainty of employee entitlements.

Currently, it is a widespread notion that the Holidays Act is hard to understand and apply into everyday practice. Will these changes make it easier or harder? Only time will tell!

The Holidays Act Taskforce recommendations include:

  • Entitling eligible employees to bereavement leave and family violence from their first day of employment.
  • Giving one day of sick leave from their first day of employment and then one day per month until their minimum entitlement of 5 days is reached after 4 months.
  • Allowing sick leave and family violence leave to be taken in units of less than a day.
  • Extending bereavement leave to include more family members, including cultural groups and modern family structures.
  • Removing the Parental Leave “override” that means employees returning from parental leave will have their full entitlement of leave available and not at a reduced rate, this is aimed to remove discrimination in the workplace.
  • Requiring payslips (not currently mandatory) so employees know how much leave they have taken, what’s left, and how they’re calculated.
  • Giving employees a choice about whether to transfer all of their leave entitlements to a new employer or to have them paid out in a sale and transfer.
  • Annual leave calculations to include an extra comparison – average weekly pay of the last 4 or 13 weeks, so employers now have to run 3 calculations and pay the greater.
  • Allowing employees to take annual leave before 12 months on a pro-rata basis.
  • Changing the definitions of pay-as-you-go to include casual employees – currently, it only references fixed-term employees.
  • Introducing a new test for eligibility for sick, bereavement and family violence leave.

These are only some of the changes.

It’s likely these changes will be introduced in early 2022, giving us all time to understand and make necessary changes.

Let’s also not forget about Matariki, our new public holiday. This has been accepted and we will first observe it on 24 June 2022. Its dates will vary year to year but will most likely always fall on a Monday or a Friday.

What you need to know: 

  • The minimum wage is increasing on 1 April 2021.
  • Holidays Act changes will be legislated in 2022.


Call me if you want to discuss the nitty-gritty!

Helping employers understand their responsibilities.