top of page

Preparing for the Minimum Wage Increase: Tips from People Ninjas

There’s an increase coming for Minimum Wage. Whether this is your first time applying an increase, or you just want to double check you’ve got the process right, we are here to help!

You’ve probably heard by now the minimum wage in New Zealand is increasing from $21.20 to $22.70 per hour for adult workers on 1 April 2023. But did you know the starting-out and training minimum wage is also increasing from $16.96 to $18.16 per hour?

These changes will affect many businesses across the country, so it's important to prepare for the increase to ensure your business is compliant with the law.

Here are some things you can do to prepare for the minimum wage


Check All Your Employees are on the Correct Rates

Did you know NZ has other minimum wages that apply to certain types of employees? It's important to be aware of these different rates and how they apply to your business.

TIP: You can find out more about these different rates here.

Consider Employee Pay Relativity and Living Wage You may also wish to consider potential impacts on your business due to internal wage relativity (for example, how employees are paid compared to each other) and external benchmarking (such as how your pay rates compare to others in your industry or sector). Employees on higher wages may possibly want to negotiate a pay increase to keep the relative difference.

TIP: Consider getting ahead of this and applying an increase before it is asked for. This shows you are being proactive. It’s also worth considering the difference between Minimum Wage ($22.70) and a Living Wage ($23.65).

Update Your Business Budget Add any expected increased costs to your short and medium-term budget forecasts, to help you plan for and manage the effect of higher wage and holiday pay liabilities.

TIP: Use the Employee Cost Calculator to work out the updated cost of your employees.

Update Your Employment Agreements If there’s any changes you have been thinking of making to your current employment agreements, now can be a good time to do this.

TIP: Make sure your employment agreements include all the mandatory clauses required by law.

nform Your Employees If you have employees on the minimum wage, let them know about the increase they will be getting. You should send them a letter or email (variation of employment contract) advising them of the new wage and when it comes into affect.

TIP: Let them know that you will take care of this and there's nothing they need to do.

Check Your Payroll Systems and Processes Talk to whoever runs your payroll system: your payroll provider, accountant, lawyer, and HR or finance people to make sure they are ready to implement the change.

TIP: Check to make sure the change has been applied on 1 April. This is a lot easier than going back and fixing it later!


It's crucial to prepare for the upcoming minimum wage increase in New Zealand to ensure compliance with the law and avoid any penalties. By following these steps and seeking expert advice from People Ninjas, you can make the transition as smooth as possible for your business and your employees.

At People Ninjas, our team of experts can help you with your business needs. From remuneration benchmarking to employment agreements and more! Click here for a free consultation.


bottom of page