Keeping employee records
The Employment Relations Act (2000) and the Holidays Act (2003) require employers to maintain records for their employees of wages, time worked, and holidays and leave.
Employee records must be made available to employees, their unions and Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment – Labour inspectors if they ask for them. They can be kept in electronic or paper files and must be kept for six years.
There are legal requirements for paying wages and keeping records. Legally, wages must be paid in cash – to pay wages another way (such as by direct debit or cheque), employers must get their employee’s written agreement first.
On this page:
Wages and time records must include the following.
- The employee’s name
- The employee’s age, if under 20 years
- The employee’s postal address
- The type of work the employee undertakes
- The type of employment agreement – individual or collective
- The title, expiry date and employee classification in any applicable collective agreement
- The hours worked each day, including start time, finish time and any non-paid breaks taken, and days of employment in each pay period
- The wages paid each pay day and the method of calculation
- Details of employment relations leave taken – for collective bargaining or union business
Holiday and leave records must include the following.
- The name of the employee
- The date employment commenced
- The days on which an employee works, if the information is relevant to entitlement or payment under the Holidays Act
- The date the employee last became entitled to annual holidays
- The employee’s current entitlement to annual holidays
- The employee’s current entitlement to sick leave
- The dates any annual holiday, sick or bereavement leave was taken
- The amount of payment for any annual holidays, sick leave and bereavement leave taken
- The portion of any annual holidays that have been paid out in each entitlement year
- The date and amount of payment for any annual holidays paid out in each entitlement year
- The dates of and payment for any public holiday worked
- The number of hours worked on any public holiday
- The day or part of any public holiday agreed to be transferred, and the calendar day or period of 24 hours to which it has been transferred
- The date the employee became entitled to any alternative holiday for any public holiday worked
- The dates and payment of any public holiday or alternative holiday on which the employee did not work, but for which the employee had an entitlement to payment
- The cash value of board and lodgings provided
- The date of termination
- The amount of pay for holidays on termination
Each employee should also have their own individual file.
Holiday and leave records or the employee’s file should include:
- any agreements to transfer holidays
- any requests to cash up annual holidays
- the anniversaries when the employee becomes entitled to conditions under either minimum legal entitlements or additional provisions in the employment agreement.
General information for the employee’s file should include:
a signed copy of the employment agreement with the employee or details of the collective agreement under which he or she has been employed
a letter offering appointment
evidence that the employee is entitled to work in New Zealand
details of citizenship or work permits held
a tax code declaration (IR330) completed by the employee
a job description
a personal profile
an application form
the employee’s personal information such as home contact details
details of who to contact in case of an emergency
details of the bank account to be credited with wages (if this is the agreed method of payment).
Employers should also keep copies of any requests regarding alternative holidays or requests to cash up annual holidays even if they were not agreed to.