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Employment Conditions in New Zealand

Terms & Conditions of Employment in New Zealand

Probation and trial periods

The standard length of probation periods is around 3 to 6 months, but there is no legal limitation. They must be recorded in the employee's employment agreement.

Apart from the probation period, there is also a trial period in companies with 19 employees or less. The trial period is a maximum of 90 days and can be requested only the first time the employee is employed.

Employers must request the trial period at the start of the first day of the employment agreement. This agreement must be in writing and mutually agreed by the employee and employer.

Employees on probation or trial periods have the same minimum rights and entitlements as any other worker.

Time records

Employers must keep records for seven years of every employee's wages, hours worked, paid time off, various leaves, pay sheets, PAYE payment receipts, all tax code declaration forms, KiwiSaver forms, and any certificates and notifications received from the employees or Inland Revenue.

Employees have the right to know what has been recorded and can request to see it or be given a copy of their file.


Employers are only allowed to make deductions on employee's salaries required by law for income tax, ACC, KiwiSaver, child support and student loan repayment.

Disciplinary process

Ending employment requires following a certain disciplinary process, which can take many forms. Employers must first assist employees in working through the issues they have with them and deal with them before they become more significant. It should be primarily a corrective measure, aimed at preventing further misconduct. Employers must follow a fair and reasonable disciplinary process.

If the misconduct continues and the situation does not improve throughout employment, the employer can go through a further formal process. That may result in a final warning or termination of employment.

A support person can accompany employees for any discussion relating to the Disciplinary Process.

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