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Payments & deductions

The Wages Protection Act 1983 sets out the way wages must be paid, and prevents unlawful deductions from wages.

When and how should wages be paid

Employees should be paid on the day and at the intervals that have been agreed with the employer. Employers cannot change the normal pay day without the agreement of the employee.

Employers are obliged to pay wages in cash (i.e. New Zealand coins or banknotes) unless:

Employers can’t put any requirements on their employee about how the employee spends their wages.


Employers generally can’t make deductions (take money) from employees’ wages. Employers can only do this where:

If an employee is provided with board and lodging the employer may deduct the costs of board or lodging where the amount is fixed under any Act, determination or agreement. If the amount payable is not fixed, the employer may deduct no more than 15% for board, or no more than 5% for lodging.

If there is a breach of the Act or an employment agreement, call the Ministry on 0800 20 90 20.


What is KiwiSaver?

KiwiSaver is a voluntary work-based savings initiative to help New Zealanders with their long-term saving for retirement.  It is open to all New Zealanders aged under 65.  The Inland Revenue Department’s (IRD) website (www.KiwiSaver.govt.nz) provides further information on the benefits of joining KiwiSaver.