If you’ve got questions, here are answers to some FAQs around the industry.
How do I find the right kiwifruit employer?
When choosing an employer in the kiwifruit industry make sure you confirm that the employer is an approved contractor. Also make sure you check these things with them:
*approved contractors are kiwifruit contractors who are registered and audited to ensure they have good standards of worker welfare.
What should I expect from my kiwifruit employer?
Employers must provide every employee with an employment agreement including:
How much will I get paid?
For the 2019 season, harvesting (picking) roles are expected to pay $23.50 per hour on average, but rates vary depending on whether they include the 8% Holiday Pay allowance and whether the pay rate is a fixed hourly rate or a piece rate. From 1 April 2019, the minimum wage in NZ is $17.70 per hour, before tax. This rate applies to all employees aged 16 or over, who are either full-time, part-time, fixed-term, and/or casual, working from home and paid by wages, salary, commission or piece rates.
What breaks will I get on the job?
Employees are entitled to unpaid meal breaks (30 minutes) and paid rest breaks (normally 10-15 minutes) that are appropriate given the length of the working day or shift, and that give employees a reasonable opportunity to rest, to eat and drink and to deal with personal matters.
Are there hazards at kiwifruit workplaces?
While the level of workplace hazards is very low in most kiwifruit operations, health and safety is still given a high priority, particularly in the packhouses where machinery is involved.
All employees must be advised of health and safety risks and protected from them through training and personal protective equipment (PPE) where required.
What are payslips and why do I need them?
Payslips verify that employees and employers have the same understanding of how the employee’s pay in made up. Employees are entitled to request from their employer wage and time records showing the pay rate, hours worked any deductions and how the employee was paid. Employees should make sure they sign their timesheets indicating agreement on the hours worked.
What’s tax and what this have to do with my pay?
Income earned in New Zealand will have tax deducted through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system, as well as an Accident Compensation Commission (ACC) levy which goes towards New Zealand’s insurance scheme for covering any costs involved where an employee is injured.
Your employer is not allowed to make any other deductions from your pay without your signed permission.
What do I do if I feel like I’m not being treated well?
In the event of a dispute in the workplace, you can contact the following agencies for help: