Employee Minimum Rights

All young workers have access to NZ’s minimum employment entitlements.


You have the right to:

Minimum Employment Entitlements
  • a written employment contract (agreement).
  • get advice or support from someone you trust before you sign the contract.
  • have your contract kept updated, and a right to a copy when you ask for it.
  • be paid at least the minimum wage but only if you are 16 years or older.
  • rest and meal breaks. For example during an 8-hour work period, you have the right to two 10-minute paid rest breaks, and one 30-minute unpaid meal break.
  • take 11 public holidays off work on full pay, if they are days you would normally work.
  • be paid ‘time and a half’, plus another day off if you work on a public holiday that is otherwise a normal working day.
  • get paid leave under these circumstances after you have been employed for six months, or you meet the ‘hours’ worked’ test:
    • 5 days’ paid sick leave per year.
    • 3 days of paid bereavement leave on the death of your spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, or spouse’s parent.
    • one day of paid bereavement leave on the death of a person not included above, if your employer accepts that you have suffered a bereavement.
    • up to 10 days of paid domestic violence leave per year.
  • have 4 weeks of paid annual holiday (annual leave) each year, after you’ve been employed for 12 months.
  • get parental leave for up to 12 months, and parental leave payments to care for a new baby.
  • ask at any time for short-term, flexible working arrangements, for up to two months, to help you deal with the effects of domestic violence.
  • ask your employer for details of your time worked, leave, and holiday entitlements.
  • be treated fairly and to a proper process if you lose your job through being fired or made redundant.
  • be protected from unlawful discrimination because of your age, ethnicity, gender, disability, or religious beliefs.
  • work in a safe environment with proper training, supervision, and equipment.
business woman

Click here to download the Minimum Employment Entitlements PDF.

Check out Employment NZ for a more extensive look at your Minimum Employment Entitlements, or keep browsing the YWRC pages for easy-to-digest information.

If there’s a question you can’t find the answer to,
head on over to our Free Help page, tell us what
you need help with, and we’ll get back to you asap!