Skip to main content
Skip table of contents

How, when, and how often an employee should be paid


The following information has been taken from the Department of Labour website.

The Wages Protection Act 1983 states that wages are to be paid in money. "Money" in relation to any wages means any New Zealand coin/banknote (cash), or a combination of both. The employer and the employee can agree to another form of payment, for example through direct credit to a bank account in the employee's name or by cheque. Payment by direct credit is now common practice.

Holidays legislation states that employees have the right to receive pay for their annual holidays before their holiday starts, unless the employer and employee agree that the normal pay cycle will continue. It is advisable to put any such agreement in writing.

Otherwise, the law does not directly address the question of how often an employee should be paid. How often and on what day wages or salaries are to be paid is a matter for employees and employers to agree on. This agreement could be written or verbal or be written into the employer's workplace policies (good practice is for it to be clear and written down so that everyone has access to it). Where there is no existing or established agreement in the workplace, custom and practice (what usually happens in the workplace) will prevail. Once an agreement (whether written or informal) is made or a policy is in place, it should be stuck to.

If an agreement specifies a pay day that happens to fall around or on a public holiday, then it would be up to the parties concerned to reach an agreement on an alternative day when the wages would be paid. Once again, good practice is for those situations to be dealt with in advance in a written agreement or policy.

Under the Wages Protection Act an employee is able to request a change to the way they are paid by making a written request to the employer to vary the method of payment and for it to be changed to 'money'. Should the employee make such a request the employer must commence paying the worker in money within 2 weeks of receiving the notice, if practicable, or otherwise as soon as it is practicable.


  • If the employee requests to be paid in money, the employer must comply.
  • The employee can request to be paid by direct credit or one of the other prescribed methods as long as the employer agrees.
  • If the employee requests to be paid by direct credit or one of the other prescribed methods, and the employer does not agree, then the employer should pay the employee's wages in money.
JavaScript errors detected

Please note, these errors can depend on your browser setup.

If this problem persists, please contact our support.