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:
- the employee is employed by the Crown (government) or a local authority – then they can be paid by cheque
- an employee has requested in writing or given the employer written consent to pay wages by postal order, money order, cheque or direct credit
- the employee is away from the proper or usual place for the payment of their wages – then they can be paid by postal order, money order, or cheque
- the employment agreement permits some other form of payment.
Employers can’t put any requirements on their employee about how the employee spends their wages.