Ensuring that you’re paying your workers the minimum wage is simple if they work an 8-hour day, 40-hour week, 80-hour fortnight. But, if your business is seasonal where peak seasons mean longer hours or irregular hours, you need to check you’ve got the systems in place to ensure you’re paying your workers at least the minimum wage. Even if you’re paying above minimum wage, it pays to check you’re fully compliant with minimum wage requirements.  

From 1 April 2023 the minimum wage rates for adult workers became: 

  1. Hourly: $22.70 ($18.16 for starting-out workers/trainees)
  2. Daily (based on an 8-hour day): $181.60 ($145.28 for starting-out workers/trainees). 
  3. Weekly (based on a 40-hour week): $908 ($726.40 for starting-out workers/trainees). 
  4. Fortnightly (based on an 80-hour fortnight): $1,816 ($1,452.80 for starting-out workers/trainees) 
Averaging out wages 

In the past, some employers have averaged wages out over busy and quiet times. However, this is no longer legal. Under the current law, the maximum period wages can be averaged over is a fortnight (and there are conditions that must be met). The practice of averaging wages out over a season, or for longer periods of time, is no longer allowed. 

Providing employee benefits 

If you provide your employees with accommodation or other benefits, you can count some of these benefits as ‘wages’ when you’re calculating wages. However, the Minimum Wage Act only allows you to count some of these benefits as ‘wages’ not all of them. You can mutually agree with your employee(s) in advance what agreed amount will be deducted from their wages, but The Wages Protection Act means this MUST be in writing. 

Keeping employee records 

You are legally required to keep records of hours worked, wages paid, and all holiday and sick leave, for all employees. Your records must be detailed enough to show that you’re complying with minimum employment requirements including minimum wage requirements. The agreements with employees about accommodation and other benefits should be documented and should be separate from employment agreements. 

Need help checking compliance 

If you want to be sure you’re complying with the minimum wage requirements, get in touch with us. We can check your records and the systems you have in place to ensure you’re correctly calculating and paying the minimum wage to your workers.