Paid parental leave changes ahead
The government has made some changes to paid parental leave, with others to follow. It’s important you know how this will affect your staff and business.
From 1 April 2016, staff who have worked for you for six months or more will be entitled to 18 weeks of government-paid parental leave, an increase from 16 weeks. For help with staff entitlements click
here. The calculation is based on:-
- The baby’s due date
- How long you have employed the staff member
- Their average pay, and
- How many hours they work.
Parents of premature babies will also receive longer parental leave payments.
If you are self-employed, you can use the calculator to work out your own entitlements.
Upcoming employment law changes
More employment law changes are proposed this year. Last year the government announced a number of other measures designed to strengthen the enforcement of minimum employment standards. The Employment Standards Legislation Bill is yet to be passed. We will update you on the Bill’s progress.
Minimum Wage Review 2016
This year’s minimum wage review has seen the adult minimum wage increase from $14.75/hour to $15.25/hour. The starting out and training minimum wage will increase from $11.80/hour to $12.20/hour. All these new rates come into effect on 1 April 2016.
We recommend you review all wage and salary structures to ensure your employees are paid at least the minimum wage at all times for hours worked.
It’s well known that farm work fluctuates throughout the year. You must ensure that your employees are receiving at least the applicable minimum wage rate for any hours worked at all times. This is the case even when your employees are paid a salary. This may mean an employee’s pay needs to be topped up at certain times of the year to ensure they are paid at least the applicable minimum wage for the hours worked. Keeping and maintaining accurate time and wage records is vitally important.