On April 1st, 2016 the Employment Standards Bill came into force and one of the changes was around Timesheets. The change was not new but more reinforcing and consolidating requirements in existence in other legislation. The main point is that Employers MUST keep daily Timesheets for all waged based employees and any all salary based employees if this is needed to show the minimum employment entitlements are being met, for example, compliance with the Minimum Wage Act.
We requested from the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety clarification around the possibility if accruing excess hours worked in one pay period and paid in a later period would comply with the Minimum Wage Act. The response from the Minister was clear in this regard as follows:
- The test to ensure an employer is meeting the requirements of the Minimum Wage Act must occur in the pay period the hours are worked.
- Provided the requirements of the Act are met, additional hours worked may be accrued upon agreement between both parties.
- The provisions of the Act apply equally to New Zealand citizens and anyone working here on a Work Visa.
The full response can be read here – response-from-mbei
The general provisions of the Employemnt Standards Bill around record keeping are as follows:
Clearer-record keeping requirements
- Record-keeping requirements for wages, time, holidays and leave have been made consistent across all employment legislation.
- There is flexibility around the format for records, so long as they can show compliance with the law.
- Infringement notices have been introduced for clear-cut breaches of these obligations with a penalty of $1,000 per breach with a cap of $20,000 if there are multiple breaches in a three month period.
Why were changes to record keeping requirements needed?
- The past requirements did not ensure that compliance with minimum entitlements could be assessed in all circumstances and was, in some places, inconsistent across the legislation. For example, the Employment Relations Act and Minimum Wage Act had different requirements for recording time worked and this has led to difficulties in assessing whether low salaried and piece workers (workers who are paid by the number of products they create or tasks they complete) were receiving adequate pay.
- The changes require all employers to have a record of the hours their employees work each day and the pay they receive for those hours.
- For employees who work regular hours each day for regular pay, to which they already agreed to with the employer, a statement of the regular hours and pay is all that is needed to comply. It could be set out in the employment agreement, for example.
- However, if employees do not work these usual hours (or have no usual hours) an accurate record of the hours worked each day and the pay received for those hours will be required.
- Additional hours worked by employees on salaries do not generally need to be recorded, as long as they are in accordance with the employment agreement. However, employers will still need to record additional hours worked by salaried employees if this is needed to show that minimum employment entitlements are being met.
What are the costs for complying with record keeping requirements?
- For most employers there will not be any costs associated with complying with the new record keeping requirements. This is because compliant employers will already be recording the necessary information.
- The key requirement is that employers can produce a record of the number of hours worked each day in a pay period, and the pay for those hours, in an easily accessible form on request from the employee or from a Labour Inspector.
In light of these changes we require timesheets for all waged employees to provide Daily Hours. This can be achieved by using our Daily Timesheet, or via a 3rd Party Application you may be using or Online via our Ezytime Portal. The Ezytime portal also provides for Leave Management and Payslips are available online. Information on Ezytime can be found here – ezytime-online-portal