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Mercans offers complete payroll, PEO and HR services in New Zealand

New Zealand is the #1 out of 141 countries for macroeconomic stability and the #1 in the world for corruption transparency. Combined with the fact that there are $15 billion live New Zealand investment opportunities, this makes the country a powerhouse location for setting up business. Strong, competitive sectors include advanced transportation, food and beverage, renewable energy, tech and innovation and tourism.

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Doing Business in New Zealand

New Zealand offers a robust regulatory system that encourages sustainable development and growth. It is part of a wide range of free-trade agreements and has access to key markets around the world. New Zealand boasts 11th placing out of 77 countries for the least complexity of doing business.

Entity Registration and Incorporation Requirements

Setting up a new business or expanding an existing one in New Zealand is straightforward. Choose how your company operates from a range of entity types that suit your individual circumstance.


Banking Hours: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm from Monday to Friday.

Working Week

The standard working week is from Monday to Friday from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm.

Labor Law

The law protects an employee at work by setting minimum rights for employees, making sure that all employees are safe at work and ensuring that employers act in good faith. There are both minimum rights as well as negotiated rights, that is, where employer and employee discuss and agree on better terms and conditions in their employment agreement.

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Main Industries

Food processing, textiles, machinery and transportation equipment, finance, tourism.

GDP Growth


Dates & Numbers


Official State Name

New Zealand


5.11 million



Major Languages

English, Māori


New Zealand dollar

Internet Domain


International Dialing Code


New Zealand
Wellington, NZ
3:26 pm, May 23, 2024
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Humidity 83 %
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There are three different types of minimum wages rates which depend on whether the individual is an adult, someone who is starting out or a trainee. There are situations in which minimum wage may not apply such as those employed in the agriculture sector, those who are aged 16 and under and those working as part of a foreign fishing crew.

It is acceptable to provide employees with online payslips


Payroll reports must be kept for 7 years


Employees receive paid annual leave of 28 days

Annual Leave

Employees receive paid sick leave of between 5 to 10 days

Sick Leave

There are 26 weeks of paid maternity leave and 7 days of unpaid paternity leave

Maternity & Paternity Leave

Termination requires the provision of 28 days notice

Employee Termination

There are no provisions mandated by law regarding the 13th month salary

13th month salary

20 NZD per hour

Minimum Wage

The overtime rate of payment is 1.5x the employee's ordinary rate of pay


The severance pay amount for an employee must be given in accordance with the agreement signed between the employer and employee.

Severance Pay


Tax and Social Security

A resident of New Zealand is taxed on their worldwide income. Employment, income support and superannuation services and social housing assistance is overseen by the Ministry of Social Development.


The majority of income of an individual is taxable. Non taxable income includes prize money and inheritances and gifts. Employers must register and obtain an IRD number to obtain a new tax account.


Corporate Income Tax


Personal Income Tax


Sales Tax



Social Security

Individuals can access income support, superannuation services, student allowances and loans as well as public housing assistance.


Social Security Rate


Social Security Rate for Employers


Social Security Rate for Employees


Employment Law

There is a range of applicable legislation including the Employment Relations Act 2000 which provides the backdrop for all relationships between employers, employees and unions. Wage protection is provided under the Wages Protection Act 1983.

Employment Agreement

An employee’s hours of work is to be agreed between employer and employee in a written employment agreement. Accurate records of wages, time and leave must be maintained by the employer at all times.

Working condition

Employees must be provided with paid rest and unpaid meal breaks. The number of breaks and duration will depend on the hours worked.


Employees are entitled to a range of leave types including annual holidays, public holidays, sick leave, bereavement leave, parental leave and more. All employees are entitled to four weeks of annual leave after 12 months of continuous employment.

Employment termination

The employment relationship may end in a few ways including resignation, retirement, dismissal or redundancy. Dismissal may be done for misconduct or redundancy but through a valid and proper process.


14 days

Minimum notice period for terminating an employee


10 days

Total number of public holidays



Working hours per week


3 days

Total number of days for Compassionate & Bereavement Leave



Individuals who intend to work in New Zealand who are not citizens or permanent residents of New Zealand or Australia are required to have a visa. Some work visas can lead to residence, that is, the right to live, study and work in New Zealand indefinitely. There are over 80 visas that allow an individual to work in New Zealand.


Residency permits

Visas will vary depending on whether the individual is intending to work for up to three months or over three months, the country of origin and there are also specific visas for those aged 18 to 35.

Work Permit Validity

5 years

Required Documents

Proof of identity includes a certificate of identity, a passport, or two acceptable visa photographs

Evidence of good health as demonstrated by a chest x-ray, health questionnaire, and medical exam after arrival

Evidence of good character as shown by submission of a character questionnaire and police certificates from the individual’s country of origin as well as any place they’ve lived at for at least five years since they turned 17.

Compliant, reliable, error-free and touchless payroll in New Zealand

Build the best team and hire top talent compliantly in New Zealand. Get in touch with New Zealand payroll outsourcing & PEO specialists for a free consultation!

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This document was prepared for informational purposes only. As local laws & regulations keeps on changing. Please consult your tax & legal advisors as well.
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