Employ Candidates Compliantly in New Zealand

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  1. Overview: New Zealand
  2. Global HR Compliance
  3. Global PEO and payroll
  4. Work permit for hiring expats via PEO
  5. Expand without a company set up
  6. Contractor vs. employee: which is better?
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Global HR Compliance in New Zealand

If you hire international workforce, or plan to hire, then Hiring and Firing Workforce in New Zealand Guide below will help you understand the nuances of labor legislation in the country.

There are two main reasons for companies hiring foreign workforce:

  • Expanding into foreign markets to sell company product or products there. In this case, companies hire sales representatives who would exclusively represent their product in the target market and sell it to their local client base.
  • Hiring the right foreign talent with a unique expertise, often related to IT sphere that cannot be found in the home country or that costs less compared to local specialist with similar skills.

After you have found the right candidate, the question is how to hire and provide compensation to this person so you as a business remain 100% compliant when working with global workforce. Another thing to consider is whether you want to keep the talent long-term and how you can do that.

If you need to hire foreign workforce in New Zealand so you can expand there, then our Global Employer of Record solution may be of help. We help you legally hire and reward your foreign workforce by making them employees via a global employment outsourcing service. This is simple as employ your in-house workforce with the only difference that workers can live anywhere in the world and Acumen International would be their legal employer on your behalf. This means we would bear all employment risks, not you. Also, we manage bonuses, vacations, sick leave and can rent the office and a car for your foreign sales representatives if that is what you need.

With our solution, you can test new foreign markets before deciding whether you are going to get established there. You gain flexibility and expand with reduced costs, and easily withdraw from the unattractive countries.

We are experts in global workforce employment in New Zealand, and our goal is to become your single provider. Instead of working with numerous local staffing agencies and legal advisors, Acumen International can solve your global business challenges and save you time, costs, and resources.

Our team of English-speaking professionals frees you from working through language nuances. Acumen International works 24/7 and can assist you whenever you need, regardless of time zones. Our goal is to create tailored labor solutions for you that are managed legally and in full compliance with the local employment laws.

With our knowledge and deep understanding of local nuances, you easily satisfy your need for skilled professionals in your global industry. With our qualified local partners, you can trust that your global workforce satisfies all local tax, social security, and immigration requirements in New Zealand.

See the guide below for a general overview of labor rules and regulations in New Zealand. Or contact us if you need to employ workers in New Zealand or would like to get more details.

Hiring and Firing Workforce in New Zealand Guide

If you hire international workforce, or plan to hire, then Hiring and Firing Workforce in New Zealand Guide below will help you understand the nuances of labor legislation in the country.

There are two main reasons for companies hiring foreign workforce:

  • Expanding into foreign markets to sell company product or products there. In this case, companies hire sales representatives who would exclusively represent their product in the target market and sell it to their local client base.
  • Hiring the right foreign talent with a unique expertise, often related to IT sphere that cannot be found in the home country or that costs less compared to local specialist with similar skills.

After you have found the right candidate, the question is how to hire and provide compensation to this person so you as a business remain 100% compliant when working with global workforce. Another thing to consider is whether you want to keep the talent long-term and how you can do that.

If you need to hire foreign workforce in New Zealand so you can expand there, then our Global Employer of Record solution may be of help. We help you legally hire and reward your foreign workforce by making them employees via a global employment outsourcing service. This is simple as employ your in-house workforce with the only difference that workers can live anywhere in the world and Acumen International would be their legal employer on your behalf. This means we would bear all employment risks, not you. Also, we manage bonuses, vacations, sick leave and can rent the office and a car for your foreign sales representatives if that is what you need.

With our solution, you can test new foreign markets before deciding whether you are going to get established there. You gain flexibility and expand with reduced costs, and easily withdraw from the unattractive countries.

See the guide below for a general overview of labor rules and regulations in New Zealand. Or contact us if you need to employ workers in New Zealand or would like to get more details.

# Employment contracts
Employment agreements must be written. An employment agreement between the employee and the employer is known as an individual employment agreement. An agreement between an employer and union is known as a collective employment agreement, which must cover two or more union members.

The use of fixed term agreements is regulated. An employer must have a genuine reason for using a fixed term and the employment agreement must record when or how the employment will end and the reasons for it ending in that way. Failure to do so entitles the employee to elect permanent employment. Limiting or excluding statutory rights or establishing suitability for permanent employment is not a genuine reason. Other types of agreement include permanent, casual or part-time employment.

The majority of employees in New Zealand work under employment agreements of an indeterminate duration, which can be terminated for just cause. However, fixed term employment agreements are permissible provided the employer has genuine reasons based on reasonable grounds for specifying that a particular employee’s employment will come to an end at the conclusion of a specified term.

# Minimum (Statutory) Employment Rules and Regulations in New Zealand

# Hours of work:
There is no statutory maximum on the number of hours that may be worked per week. Employees have a statutory right to request a variation to their contractual working hours if they have to care for another person.

# Probation period:
A probation period is not mandatory. If a probation period is included in the employment agreement, employers may dismiss a new employee during a probation period.

Such a probation period can be up to 90 days. The probation period must be agreed in writing in the employment agreement before the employment relationship begins. Notice must be given within the trial period, even if the new employee is not actually dismissed until after the probation period ends. If the above conditions are met the employee will have no entitlement to bring a personal grievance against the employer for unjustified dismissal (they may however raise a personal grievance on other grounds during the probation period).

# Annual leave:
Employees are entitled to a minimum annual paid holiday of 4 weeks per year provided that the employee has completed 12 months continuous employment. 11 public holidays are observed in New Zealand each year.

# Parental leave:
Minimum statutory entitlements to maternity leave, partners leave, and parental leave apply. Employers have a statutory obligation to provide appropriate facilities and breaks to an employee who wishes to breastfeed. After 12 months employment, paid (by the government) maternity leave is up to 14 weeks; partner’s leave is up to 14 days and unpaid leave is up to 52 weeks.

# Sick leave:
After 6 months continuous employment an employee is entitled to 5 days sick leave per annum. Discrimination on the grounds of disability is prohibited. There is no separate disability leave entitlement.

The Human Rights Act 1993 permits different treatment based on disability only where it is not reasonable to expect the employer to provide special services or facilities necessary to enable the employee to perform the duties of the position satisfactorily, or it is not reasonable due to risk of harm to that employee or others. These exceptions do not apply if the employer could, without unreasonable disruption, take reasonable measures to reduce the risk to a normal level.

# Overtime:
In many professions there is no additional payment for overtime, although in a number of blue-collar sectors, collective agreements and individual employment agreements specifically provide for overtime payments. Where employees work on one of the 11 annual public holidays, and that day is usually a working day for that employee, then by law the employee is entitled to a paid day off at a later date.

# State minimum salary:
The New Zealand minimum wage is NZ$15.25 per hour for workers 18 years old or older,and NZ$12.20 per hour for those aged 16 or 17 or in training. There is no legal minimum wage for employees who are under 16 years old. New Zealand’s minimum wage was last changed in April 2016.

# Employee dismissal:
Contractual termination procedures apply to a termination by the employer. Dismissals must be substantively justified and carried out in a procedurally fair manner. The question of whether a dismissal is justifiable is determined on an objective basis by applying the test of whether the employer’s actions were what a fair and reasonable employer could have done in all the circumstances.

The exception is that it is permissible for dismissal to occur without justification at any time within an agreed trial period of up to 90 days, provided the dismissal occurs within any agreed contractual terms surrounding the trial period.

Prior to dismissing an employee on the basis of unsatisfactory work performance, the deficiencies must be disclosed to the employee and a reasonably specific and measurable improvement demanded of him or her within a reasonable period of time. At the end of this time, dispassionate consideration must be given as to whether enough progress has been made to avert dismissal. The employer must follow procedural requirements for disciplinary meetings to terminate employment on this basis.

A decision to make an employee redundant must be both genuine and procedurally fair. A redundancy will be genuine if it is made for valid commercial reasons. An employee may be dismissed without notice for serious misconduct, which is conduct that fundamentally undermines the employer’s trust and confidence in the employee. It will usually be appropriate to suspend an employee in the first instance in order to conduct a fair investigation into the serious misconduct prior to making a decision to dismiss the employee. Where there has been termination with immediate effect, the employee should be paid up to the day of dismissal, including any holiday pay owed.

The agreement can be terminated by the employee by giving the notice stipulated in the agreement. Employers must give employees the notice period specified in the agreement. If the agreement provides, and only if, employers may make a payment in lieu of notice to an employee. The parties are free to terminate the employment by mutual agreement.

Acumen International can help you fast-track your possibilities of entering and expanding your business in New Zealand by providing you with our Employer of Record services. Our unique mix of PEO/EOR solutions will enable you to jumpstart your global operations almost immediately, cost-effectively and compliantly without any need to set up a legal entity first or afterwards.

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