Basic Employee Rights Guide for All Types of Workers

Basic Employee RightsAs a hardworking employee, there are some things you should know about your basic rights. It's best to review them in detail, so you know when to accept or refuse a job. The first thing you should know is that there are a number of minimum entitlements and rights that the law has set out for you.

This applies to all employees in New Zealand. Your employer cannot trade off your employee rights in NZ even if they're not mentioned in the employment agreement. Here's an overview to help you get started:

  • The law entitles you to these basic rights:
    • Basic minimum pay – Your employer must pay you the minimum wage
    • Sick leave – You must be provided with paid sick leave when you’re ill and not capable of showing up at work
    • Public holidays – You should be compensated for working on public holidays and you should at least be given 11 days off for public holidays
    • Paid time off work – As an employee, your employer must provide you with paid annual leaves of four weeks with pay
    • Bereavement leaves – In the event of bereavement of a loved one, you should be allowed to take a paid bereavement leave of three days for family members and one day in the case of others.
  • All employees have the right to be protected at work, so you likewise have the right to refuse work that has the potential to harm you
  • All workers have the right not to be discriminated against
  • Your employer must provide you with a written employment agreement, which serves as basis for your duties and responsibilities
  • Your employer should not deduct money from your salary for any reason without your agreement in writing
  • Your employer should give you a period of notice of termination. This includes the number of warnings given during a disciplinary process.

These are only some of the minimum basic rights you have as an employee. It’s important to keep them in mind to help you have better negotiations with your employer.