Advice

Hiring school age employees

Are you looking at hiring school age employees?

With Summer Holidays upon us, you may be hiring school age employees to work for you over this period. There are special restrictions for school age employees that you need to ensure you adhere to.

Restrictions on working hours

If you employ school-aged students, their work hours must be outside of school hours and not between 10 pm and 6 am, or any other time that interferes with their school work.


Employment agreement

A school age employee must be provided with an employment agreement that has all the same minimum employment rights as an adult. In some cases the minimum wage may not apply. All employees have the right to representation when dealing with their employer and young employees may choose to have their parents support them. Ensure you provide the employee with the employment agreement to take away so they can review it with a support person.

Click here to see our Employment Agreement templates.


Minimum wage

There is no minimum wage for under 16 year olds. For 16 & 17 year olds that have not completed 6 months continuous service with an employer, you can pay them the starting out rate of $15.12 per hour. Once a 16/17 year old completes 6 months continuous service or turns 18, they are entitled to the adult minimum wage of $18.90.

See our full advice on the minimum wage in New Zealand here.


Record the employee’s age in wage and time records

As for all employees, you must keep accurate wage and time records for young employees. In addition, if the employee is under 20 years of age, you must also record the employee’s age in these records.


Restrictions on work

In retail, an employee under 15 years old cannot work:

  • in any area where the work requires lifting heavy weights;
  • in any area where the work being done is likely to harm the employee; or
  • with any machinery or assist work with any machinery.

An employee under 18 years old cannot work in:

  • any restricted area of a licensed premises while that area is open for the sale of liquor, unless they are employed preparing or serving any meal, cleaning, repairing, maintaining, altering or restocking the area of any equipment, removing or replacing any equipment, stocktaking, or checking or removing cash;
  • direct access to gaming machines in gaming venues such as bars, taverns and clubs where a gaming machine society has obtained a licence to operate gaming machines; or
  • sex work.

If you have any questions, please contact out Advice Service on 0800 472 472 (1800 128 086 from Australia) or send us an email on [email protected] .



Included in the 30th November 2020 edition of Talking Shop.


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