Do you have WOOFERS? Do you know the rules on hiring?

Posted by: Sara Fenwick
Date: 25 November 2016

If you have someone working for you in your business i.e. a traveller working on your farm as a volunteer (WOOFERS), and in return you are providing food or accommodation… then you're required by law to register as an employer. 

Your volunteers will have fill out a tax code declaration form ( IR330).  You will also need to check they are allowed to work in New Zealand e.g. on a working holiday visa.  The employee will also need to have an IRD number.


This means as the business owner you will need to create an employment agreement, deduct PAYE from any wages, and work out the market value of any accommodation you provide or any allowances given to the worker. You must file monthly PAYE returns with IRD and check whether the worker is eligible for KiwiSaver or if they should be automatically enrolled.

Employees/volunteers have minimum workplace rights too.  Minimum rights include 4 weeks' paid annual holiday, 11 public holidays, time and a half for working on public holidays, sick leave and parental leave… that is just some of the rights your workers are entitled too. 

So you will need to make yourself aware of your responsibilities and as an employer you will be responsible for protecting their health and safety in their workplace… so much for the "volunteer", there really is no such thing.

It is also a good idea to make sure your insurance policies are updated and you are covered in case of an accident.

Have more employment questions?  Give us a call 03 578 3386 or email us - we can help.

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