Recent case: Employee ordered to pay training cost

An employer successfully sought recovery of training costs incurred by it in respect of a Diploma in Advanced Automation undertaken by an employee, who denied liability for the training costs. Early in 2011, the employee put a proposal to the employer that it fund the Diploma at a cost of $8,144.15. The employer agreed to the request and paid for the diploma courses. In 2012, the employee asked for a pay increase. In July 2012, the employer had... Read More

Employer KiwiSaver contribution cannot take employee below minimum wage

Court of Appeal confirms the Employment Court’s position Employers can agree with employees that they will pay KiwiSaver contributions on a “total remuneration” approach whereby their wages are inclusive of the employer’s contribution. However, there is an important exception to that rule, and that is when the gross wages after such contributions are made are less that the statutory minimum wage. The Employment Court’s stance was... Read More

Minimum Wage increase announced higher than expected

New minimum wage rates will come into effect on 1 April 2014. Simon Bridges, 24 February 2014 Labour Minister Simon Bridges today announced the adult minimum wage is to rise to $14.25 an hour.  The current adult minimum wage rate is $13.75 an hour. The Starting-Out and training minimum wages will increase from $11 an hour to $11.40 an hour, which is 80 per cent of the adult minimum wage. “Setting these wage rates represents a careful balance between... Read More

Employer’s KiwiSaver contributions could not be deducted from minimum wage

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal from an aged care provider that sought to deduct KiwiSaver compulsory employer contributions from the minimum wages it paid its caregivers. The Employment Court had found that it could not do so (Faitala v TerraNova Homes & Care Ltd (2012) 10 NZELC; [2012] NZEmpC 199) and its reasoning has now been endorsed by the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal agreed that the opening words of section 6 of the... Read More

KiwiSaver and total remuneration approach to employer contributions

With the recent increase in the minimum rate of KiwiSaver contributions rising to 3% for both employees and employers, it is timely to examine the implications of KiwiSaver from both a financial and legal perspective. Many employers are opting for the total remuneration approach to KiwiSaver in order to minimise the ever increasing costs of the scheme. This approach involves paying all employees the same total remuneration regardless of KiwiSaver... Read More

KiwiSaver employer contributions

With the recent increase in the minimum rate of KiwiSaver contributions rising to 3% for both employees and employers, it is timely to examine the implications of KiwiSaver from both a financial and legal perspective. For employers, there are two approaches to calculating minimum employer contributions to KiwiSaver: the “default” approach and the “total remuneration” approach. The default approach occurs when an employee, who is a member of... Read More

Cabinet approves sleepovers agreement

12 September 2011, Tony Ryall The Government will contribute $90m towards phasing in the minimum wage for disability support workers on overnight sleepover shifts. Health Minister Tony Ryall says: “Cabinet this morning agreed to provide $90 million towards phasing in minimum wage rates by July 2013, and $27.5 million towards the back pay liabilities of the providers.”  IHC and other providers are also putting in money.  “People with disabilities... Read More