Spring pay re­quire­ments

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

Over re­cent years there have been an in­creas­ing num­ber of farm em­ploy­ers un­der the ea­gle eye of the Min­istry of Busi­ness Em­ploy­ment & In­no­va­tion (for­merly known as the Depart­ment of Labour) for fail­ing to pay staff the min­i­mum wage dur­ing the calv­ing and mat­ing sea­son.

Most ru­ral em­ploy­ers mis­tak­enly be­lieve that ‘‘pay av­er­ages out over the year’’ – it doesn’t.

This is­sue pri­mar­ily af­fects the lower paid em­ploy­ees as the in­creased hours they work dur­ing calv­ing and mat­ing can mean the em­ployee falls be­low min­i­mum wage and, as an em­ployer, you are fall­ing foul of the law. Em­ploy­ers must en­sure they un­der­stand the em­ploy­ment con­tract that their em­ploy­ees have signed. Whether em­ploy­ees are paid on a hourly ba­sis or on a salary, they must al­ways re­ceive at least a min­i­mum wage of $13.75 per hour.

To cal­cu­late how many hours an em­ployee can work be­fore be­ing paid ex­tra use:

An­nual salary + Rent al­lowance / 52 weeks / min­i­mum wage = max­i­mum num­ber of hours avail­able to work each week.

So us­ing this cal­cu­la­tion: An em­ployee on an af­ter-rent salary of $32,000 and a rent al­lowance of $5200 has a gross tax­able pack­age of $37,200/52 weeks = $715.38 gross per week/$13.75 (min­i­mum pay) = 52 hours per week max­i­mum that the em­ployee can work be­fore they fall be­low min­i­mum wage.

For ex­am­ple, if an em­ployee works 55 hours then the em­ployer tops up his pay with an ex­tra 3 hours @ $13.75 gross per hour equals $41.25 and the is­sue is re­solved.

John Bros­nan, Coop­erAitken, HR ad­viser

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