Other Rights at Work

What about my other rights at work?
You are entitled, by law, to these rights at work:

  • a written employment agreement setting out the arrangements between you and your employer
  • the minimum wage
  • rights to health and safety in employment
  • paid parental leave
  • rights to undertake voluntary military service
  • rights to join unions and bargain collectively
  • rights to take a personal grievance if you are disadvantaged at work
  • protection against discrimination at work
  • protection against sexual harassment at work

If you want to know more about the Holidays Act 2003, changes to the minimum wage or any other work related issue, you can contact your union if you’re a member or call free on 0800 800 863.

What if my boss wants to change my conditions?
If your boss wants to change your Employment Agreement in any way, make sure that you understand the changes before you agree to them. Remember that your boss can’t change your employment agreement without your consent. You have the right to seek advice from your union or advisor before agreeing to any change.

All about your pay

How is my pay calculated?
Regardless of how your pay is calculated, it must be possible for you to earn the appropriate minimum hourly rate.

Your Employment Agreement can:

  • set your hourly rate.
  • set the amount you are paid weekly or annually (without specifying your hours to be worked).
  • pay you a certain amount based on the amount of work you do (say how many sacks of fruit you pick).
  • pay you a certain amount based on your results (say a commission for signing people up to a company scheme).

For example, if you get paid one dollar for every sack of fruit you pick, you must be paid $9.00 per hour, even if you don’t manage to pick nine sacks in an hour (assuming you’re 18 or over as the minimum wage is $9.00 per hour). This also assumes you work at a reasonable rate for that particular job.

When should I be paid?
You should always be paid on the day, and at the intervals, that you and your employer have agreed to in your Employment Agreement.

REMEMBER: Your employer can’t change your normal pay day without your agreement.

How should I be paid?
You have the right to be paid in cash unless:

  • you are employed by a local authority or the Crown, in which case you can be paid by check.
  • you have given written consent to other forms of payment, e.g. having your pay paid straight into your bank account.
  • you’re away from your normal workplace at the time you normally get paid. If this is the case, you can be paid by postal order, money order, check or direct credit.

REMEMBER: Your employer can’t control how you spend you money. What you do with your pay is entirely your business.

What can be taken out of my pay?
As a general rule, your employer can’t make deductions from your wages. But they can in some situations, such as when:

  • the deductions are required by law (for example, income tax, ACC etc).

  • deductions from your pay are provided for in your Employment Agreement.

  • you’ve given your written consent. You can withdraw your consent in writing at any time and your employer should then stop the deductions within two weeks or as soon as possible.

  • you receive overpayments because you were absent from work without your employer’s authority, e.g. you were on strike, locked out or suspended. (Your employer must tell you before deducting any money from you and then make that deduction within two weeks of telling you.)

  • a Court directs that a deduction be made.