How to hire remote employees in

New Zealand

If you’ve found someone you’d like to hire remotely in New Zealand, you’re in the right place. In the next few minutes, we’ll teach you how to hire in New Zealand (without getting yourself wrapped up in thousands of dollars of legal red tape).

Country snapshot

CURRENCY
New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
EMPLOYER TAXES
3.0%
PAYROLL FREQUENCY
Monthly
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
Māori, English

What to know before you hire in 

New Zealand

No matter where you’re based out of, we can tell you one thing: New Zealand has different labor laws than your home country (unless your home country is New Zealand, that is). If you don’t do things right, you’ll be putting your company at the risk of fines—and risk losing the talent you brought onboard. Fortunately, doing things right is pretty easy if you take the right route.

If you want to successfully hire in 

New Zealand

, you have two options:

Hire talent as contractors

Laws about hiring contractors are significantly more simple in 

New Zealand

. Onboarding talent takes days, not weeks or months. Both you, the company, and your talent have more flexibility. And in many cases, since you’re remote, the talent you’re hiring is better classified as a contractor, anyway. Of course, it’s not possible in every case, but it’s what we built Panther for.

Hire talent as employees

This is the long route. You can either establish a physical presence with an entity and register as an employer, or you can use an Employer-of-Record (EOR) solution. Odds are, you’ll find using an EOR to be the easier route. Still, using an EOR in 

New Zealand

 is expensive—it can often be $500 per month per employee—and sometimes prone to lengthy onboarding times.

Why hire independent contractors in 

New Zealand

Hiring contractors is normally the easier, faster, more flexible choice—but don’t just take it from us. Below are the specific benefits and drawbacks to hiring contractors in 

New Zealand

.

It’s the fastest way to hire globally

Hiring employees takes months, at the minimum. When you hire with Panther’s locally-generated contracts, it’s a matter of days or weeks. This means you can hire the best talent, fast, without losing them to a hellish procession of paperwork.

It’s a lot cheaper

It costs just $0 to sign up for Panther, then $49 per month to hire your contractors with Panther. If you hired employees manually (or did contracting on your own), you’d likely be on the hook for thousands of dollars each month. Setting up an entity alone can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

It’s more flexible for you & your team

Hiring contractors in 

New Zealand

 means you’re generally not on the hook for things like health insurance and paid time off. This makes hiring flexible for you, and it gives your talent more options.

It’s less risky than hiring employees

Hiring employees is a bigger commitment, and generally puts you at a bigger risk for legal fees. When you hire contractors overseas, your biggest risk is misclassification—but even then, misclassification penalties are often minimal and just require you to pay off any compensation that the person would have been owed as an employee.

Some people want to be employees

The contractor life isn’t for everyone—some people want the security that being an employee often appears to provide. Though it’s rare, this does happen, and it’s one disadvantage of manage an all-contractor team.

You might not have as much control over your talent

Most countries’ contractor-employer relationship laws stipulate that the employer can’t set fixed working hours, among other things. These laws give contractors more freedom over how and when they do their work than an employee would have. In reality, however, most contractors are willing & able to work on the company’s schedule—it’s a matter of setting expectations beforehand.

How can I pay people in 

New Zealand

?

If you’re hiring contractors in 

New Zealand

, you can pay them with Panther in a single click. You won’t need to worry about complicated wire transfers, fees, or currency conversions. We’ll take care of it all. Just make a click and your contractor will get paid in their currency of choice. This is a valuable bonus for talent in countries where the local currency is particularly weak—most people appreciate the ability to receive their payment in stronger currencies.

Hiring and paying your team in 

New Zealand

Hire and pay with Panther

Pay everyone with a single click
Get great currency conversion rates
Pay $0 in platform fees
Run payroll in seconds
Let Panther automatically create & store invoices
Let Panther automatically write locally-compliant contracts
Let Panther automatically file local tax documents

Hire and pay without Panther

Pay all your contractors individually
Do all currency conversions yourself
Shoulder the burden of platform fees
Spend hours each month making payments
Manually track & store invoices
Manually write & sign contracts
Manually file relevant tax documents

Let Panther save you from hiring headaches.

Sign up today for $0

If you want to hire employees in 

New Zealand

If you’ve read up until this point, you’ll know that it’s easier, cheaper, and more flexible to hire contractors in New Zealand than employees. Still, there are valid reasons why you might want to hire employees instead. The content below is for you—we’ll cover employer taxes and obligations in New Zealand

Taxes in 

New Zealand

Employer tax

KiwiSaver (minimum employer contribution)

Individual tax

Leave

Paid Time Off (PTO)

PTO is calculated by the:

  • Almost all employees are entitled to at least 4 weeks’ paid annual leave a year.
  • Casual employees however get 8% holiday pay each pay instead of 4 weeks annual leave.
  • Unused leave is cashed out in cases of termination.

Public Holidays

There are 10 public holidays.

Sick Days

The duration of sick leave entitlement provided to workers is dependent on how long they have been employed by their employer:

  • Employees are entitled to a minimum of five days paid sick leave a year after the first six months of continuous employment and an additional five days paid sick leave after each subsequent 12-month period. This is paid by the employer.
  •  Sick leave entitlements are not pro-rated in any way. Any employee including part-time employees is entitled to five days’ sick leave a year.
  • Any sick leave owed at employment termination is not paid out.

Maternity Leave

Known as primary care leave, mothers are entitled to 26 weeks of maternity leave and are paid between $177.00 to $585.80 by the government per week before tax.

Paternity Leave

Known a partners leave, a spouse or partner is given one-week unpaid leave after six months of employment and two weeks of unpaid leave after 12 months of employment.

Leave can be taken any time within the period of 21 days before or after the birth.

Parental Leave

Parental leave in New Zealand covers maternity and paternity leave and is comprised of primary care leave, special leave, partners leave, extended leave, and negotiated career leave.

Other Leave

Special Leave-10 days of unpaid leave are given for pregnancy-related appointments.

Extended Leave – This is extended unpaid leave given to parents and depends on the amount of time an employee has worked. 52 extra weeks can be taken for a parent who has been employed for at least 12 months, and 26 weeks is given to a parent who has been employed for at least 6 months.

Marriage Leave

None.

Bereavement Leave

None.

Termination

Termination Process

In the event of a termination of a local employee, the employee’s salary must be paid:  

An employer must tell their employee in advance when the employer is going to end the employee’s employment (unless the employer is going to dismiss the employee without notice for serious misconduct).

Just because an employment agreement contains a notice period doesn’t mean that the employer can dismiss the employee for any reason as long as they give the appropriate notice.

The employer must still have a good reason and must follow a fair process.

This also includes fixed-term agreements.

Notice Period

The notice period in New Zealand is:

An employee must tell their employer in advance when they want to leave employment (generally outlined in the employment agreement). Depending on the role 2 to 4 weeks’ notice is often seen as fair.

Notice of redundancy

If there is no specific clause in an employment agreement giving a period of notice in a redundancy situation, ‘reasonable notice’ must be given. The length of ‘reasonable notice’ depends on a variety of factors, such as:

  • the reason for the redundancy
  • the employee’s length of service
  • the employee’s seniority and/or remuneration package
  • custom, practice, and industry norms
  • the employee’s ability to find alternative employment

the amount of compensation being paid (if any).

Severance Pay

Severance payments include the hours worked until the final day and any unused annual leave or days in lieu payments.

Additional payments are either specified in the employment agreement or negotiated as a part of the leaving package.

If employees do not receive all components of their payments, they may file a claim for unpaid salary or other breaches of the employment agreement.

Probation Period

Only an employer with 19 or fewer employees (at the beginning of the day on which the employment agreement is entered into) may employ a new employee on a trial period for the first 90 calendar days of their employment.

A valid trial period must be agreed to in the employment agreement before the employee starts work, or the trial period is invalid.

A trial period must have a valid notice period in the employment contract, can be used in any industry and for any job and must be agreed by the employer and employee in good faith – an employee can’t be forced into being employed on a trial period.

Employers can test the skills of a new employee or a current employee moving to a new position through using a probation period. Probation periods can last for any amount of time (the standard length is around three to six months) but the length of time must be recorded in the employment agreement.

Employee requirements in 

New Zealand

Working Hours

New Zealand does not have a minimum requirement. Common full-time hours are 7.5 hours to 8.0 hours per day.

Overtime

The hours that are agreed to in an employment agreement are generally the only hours that an employee needs to be present at work.

Overtime hours and pay should be included in the employment agreement.

Many employees receive a payment if their employer asks them to work more than their normal hours.

However, there is no legal requirement to pay more than the regular salary for overtime.

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