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New Zealand Employment Guide

Your quick guide on talent and labor compliance norms in New Zealand




New Zealand Dollar (NZD)


English (Official), Māori (Official), New Zealand Sign Language

Payroll Frequency

Weekly, Bi-Monthly, Monthly

GDP per Capita


Employer Tax


Talent Overview

New Zealand is the 52nd largest economy in the world. The country is known to have a very active start-up community which has increased by 30% from 2020 to 2021 alone. Its rapid increase in developing its information sector has investors flocking to the country. New Zealand also has a sizable service industry making up 63% of its economy. 

Major economic hubs:

Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch

Skills in demand:

Information and Communications Technology Professionals Trade Professionals Engineering Professionals Health and Social Services Professionals

New Zealand Map

Local Universities

The top local universities in New Zealand are as follows:

New Zealand Uni1

University of Auckland


Local: 1

World: 137

New Zealand Uni2

University of Otago


Local: 2

World: 325

New Zealand Uni3

University of Canterbury


Local: 3

World: 416

New Zealand Uni4

Victoria University of Wellington


Local: 4

World: 432

New Zealand Uni5

Massey University


Local: 5

World: 488

Salary Data

Below are average monthly salaries for jobs in New Zealand:

Job Title Average Monthly Salary (NZD) Average Monthly Salary (USD)
Network Engineer 6,730 4,283
Database Administrator 7,620 4,849
Developer / Programmer 7,920 5,040
Project Manager 8,820 5,613
Information Technology Manager 13,700  8,719
General Manager 14,100  8,974
New Zealand Talentsource

Talent Sourcing Tips

Top Local Job Portals:

Seek, Indeed, Student Job Search

Number of LinkedIn Users (2022):


Top Recruitment Agencies:

Hays Specialist Recruitment, Drake New Zealand Limited, Randstad Limited

Employing in New Zealand

Employers looking into expanding in New Zealand requires a strong grasp of the country’s employment laws, benefits, payroll, and taxes. Below are the basics to assist you when onboarding talents from New Zealand.

Employee Contract

In New Zealand, it is required for you to provide your employee with a copy of their individual employment agreement. However, employment contracts can be written or oral whichever parties recognize as their agreement. English, being the dominant language in the country, is often used for these contracts.

Probation Period

The probationary period for employees starts at a minimum of 1 month to a maximum of 3 months.

Public and Provincial Holidays

Date Holiday Type
1 Jan New Year’s Day National Holiday
2 Jan New Year Holiday National Holiday
6 Feb Waitangi day National Holiday
29 Mar Good Friday National Holiday
1 Apr Easter Monday National Holiday
25 Apr ANZAC day National Holiday
3 Jun King’s birthday National Holiday
28 Jun Matariki National Holiday
28 Oct Labour day National Holiday
25 Dec Christmas day National Holiday
26 Dec Boxing day National Holiday

Employee Leaves

Type of leave Time period Mandatory
Annual leave/Earned Leave 4 weeks Yes
Sick Leave 10 days Yes
Maternity Leave 52 weeks Yes


Payroll 1

Payroll Cycle

Employees are usually paid weekly, bi-monthly or monthly

Payroll 2

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in New Zealand depends on what type of category employees fit in. Adults (16+) and regular employees have a higher minimum wage rate than those who are starting or in Effective April 1, 2023, the minimum wage rates are:

Payroll 3

Overtime Pay

There is no legal restriction regarding overtime pay. However, most employees are paid 1.5 times or 2 times their hourly wage depending on the agreement between the employer and employees. This payment is also called a penal rate, which is payment given aside from the standard rate.


13th-month salary

A 13th-month bonus is customary in New Zealand.

Employee Benefits

The New Zealand government has set a robust social welfare system, which provides benefits among their citizens and residents. Below are some of the benefits they offer to their employees: 

  • Unemployment benefit (Jobseeker support)
  • Domestic Purposes Benefit (Sole Parent Support)
  • Health benefits (Sickness Benefit and Invalid’s Benefit)
  • Pension Scheme (KiwiSaver, Accident compensation levies)
  • Superannuation


Employer Payroll Tax

Tax Rate Contribution
3% KiwiSaver
1% Earners’ Levy (Working Safer Levy)

Employee Payroll Tax

Tax Rate  Contribution
3%* KiwiSaver
1.46% per $100 (as of April 2022 to March 2023) Earners’ Levy (Working Safer Levy)

* Employees can opt to increase their contributions to 4%, 6%, 8% or 10%.

Employees’ working safer levy rate changes annually. Below are the rates beyond 2023:

  •  1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025 $1.60 per $100
  •  1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024 $1.53 per $100 

Employee Income Tax

Income tax is levied at a progressive rate on all annual income as follows:

Annual Taxable Income (NZD, New Zealand Dollars) Income Tax Rate (%)
0 to 14,000 10.5%
14,000 to 48,000 17.5%
48,000 to 70,000 30%
70,000 to 180,000 33%
Above 180,000 39%


The standard VAT rate in New Zealand is 15% and 9% for the reduced VAT rate.

Offboarding & Termination

The termination process in New Zealand is simple. It can be done through resignation, retirement, dismissal, or redundancy.

The notice period for employees during the probationary period is from one to two weeks, while for permanent employees, it ranges from two to four weeks. 

There are no provisions for mandatory severance benefits in New Zealand. At the time of contract termination, employees are entitled to a ‘final pay’ that includes:

  • Payment for all the hours worked from the last pay until the end of employment
  • Payment for remaining annual leave, public and alternative holidays
  • Any additional lump sum or other payments owing
  • Payment for notice period, if notice is not provided

Visa and Immigration

Foreigners have work visa options based on the purpose of their stay in the country. Below are the following:

New Zealand Visa
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Streamline payroll and compliance for your international workforce


Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in New Zealand depends on what type of category employees fit in. Adults (16+) and regular employees have a higher minimum wage rate than those who are starting or in Effective April 1, 2023, the minimum wage rates are:

  1. Adult minimum wage – NZD 22.70 per hour
  2. Starting out and training minimum wage – NZD 18.16 per hour

Overtime Pay

Visa & Immigration

Types of Visa Duration Note
APEC Business Travel Card Up to 3 months Requires Passport and APEC Business Travel Card to travel

A work visa is needed if you’re planning to stay longer than 3 months

Business Visitor Visa Up to 3 months You must hold NZeTA before traveling to New Zealand
Global Impact Work Visa 36 months Apply for permanent residence after 30 months on the Edmund Hillary Fellowship
Entrepreneur Work Visa Up to 3 years You can set up your business in New Zealand

Work up to three years on your business

You can include your partner and dependents or children under 19 years old

First 12 months, start-up stage of visa, then another 24 months to show business set-up

Entrepreneur Resident Visa Indefinite Partners and any dependents 24 and under may be included

You must have applied less than 2 years of being self-employed, have at least NZ$ 500,000.00 in invested capital, and created 3 jobs for the application to succeed