New Zealand: Favorable Market for Contingent Labor

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The New Zealand market ranks number one in the world geopolitically and features a labor force that has a very high level of English proficiency, are well educated and highly skilled.

In April of this year, two changes to New Zealand’s labor laws went into effect. The first change requires employers to meet their obligations to the new standards including increased penalties for serious breaches, clearer record keeping requirements and increased ability for employees to seek penalties against employers. The other change increased New Zealand’s minimum wage 50 cents per hour. Furthermore, workers 16 years or over are now legally entitled to a wage of at least $15.25 per hour if they are not first starting out, in training or in the first year of an apprenticeship. And finally, hourly minimum wages rates for workers starting-out or in training increase from $11.80 to $12.20 per hour.

While the laws expose employers to potential sanctions for failing to meet their employment standards obligations (e.g. minimum wage, holiday pay and record keeping), the obligations are minimally burdensome. When considering regulations that, in other countries, might limit employers as to how they employ contingent labor neither change mentioned will affect New Zealand’s position as one of the most attractive countries in the world.

To date, these changes have not impacted New Zealand’s contingent labor market as its unemployment rate remains near its 7-year low. Few contract restrictions and no notice period or severance requirements once again place New Zealand very high on the list of favored markets for contingent labor.