Recent Business Law Changes

The following are some of the key recent business law changes highlighted on Business.govt.nz

1. Minimum wage rates are up

On 1 April 2015, the adult minimum wage increased from $14.25 to $14.75 an hour and the starting-out and training minimum wages rose from $11.00 to $11.40 an hour; a 3.5% increase.

2. ACC Levies are down

On 1 April 2015, the levy paid by employers fell from 95c to 90c on every liable $100 earned – an average drop of 5%. Further, at mid-year the average ACC motor vehicle levy will fall from $331 to $195.

3. Parental Leave entitlement now increased

Paid parental leave increased to 18 weeks on 1 April 2016.  You will need to account for the longer absence if an employee takes this leave.

4. “Tea break” law – now more flexibility

Employers and employees have greater flexibility regarding tea breaks.  There are no specific rules for how long and when but you still need to agree to them.

5. Employee allowance changes

If your business provides clothing, meal and accommodation allowances, The Taxation (Annual Rates, Employee Allowances, and Remedial Matters) Act 2014 clarifies what the taxes apply to them.

6. Mondayized Anzac and Waitangi Day holidays

If Waitangi Day (6 February) or Anzac Day (25 April) fall on a weekend, employees who would not otherwise work on that Saturday or Sunday can now treat the following Monday as a public holiday.

7. Companies Amendment Act additional NZ Resident Director and Annual Return Requirements

New Zealand companies must have a director living in New Zealand, and Annual returns must include the date and place of birth of all directors, and the ultimate holding company, if applicable.

If you have any questions or would like to take any steps to comply, please call Michael Stephens or Alan Henwood here at Stephens Lawyers on 04 472 9632.

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