Farming is seasonal; it is a business that creates the need for employees (with their agreement) to work additional hours at different times of the year. When requiring employees to work those additional hours, farmers need to ensure compliance with the Minimum Wage Act 1983, which cannot be contracted out of.
Disability is one of the prohibited grounds of discrimination provided in the Human Rights Act. This means it is unlawful to refuse to hire someone, or to offer them less favourable terms of employment, purely because they are living with a disability – either physical or psychological.
A recent case heard by the Employment Relations Authority serves as a reminder that individuals, officers of companies and partnerships (including anyone who is able to exercise significant influence over the management or administration of these entities) can be held personally liable if the business breaches minimum employment law standards. e.g. fails to pay wages, holiday pay etc.
A recent Employment Court case Leota v Parcel Express Limited is a reminder of the importance of correctly classifying workers.
New Zealand’s next minimum wage increase is occuring in the midst of the country being at COVID-19 Alert Level 4. On Wednesday, 1 April 2020 the adult minimum wage rate increased by $1.20, from $17.70 to $18.90 per hour. The starting-out and training minimum wage rates will increase 96 cents from $14.16 to $15.12 per hour, and will remain at 80% of the adult rate.