Crimes (Wage Theft) Amendment Bill

Crimes (Wage Theft) Amendment Bill

Member's Bill

Explanatory Note

This bill amends the Crimes Act 1961 to ensure that wage theft can be prosecuted in the same way as other thefts. Section 220 of the principal act (Theft by person in a special relationship) is amended to ensure that it clearly covers the unlawful withholding of of wages, salaries and other monetary entitlements within an employment relationship. The maximum penalty of up to seven years' imprisonment applying to the offence is retained, as is the requirement that the withholding is intentional.

Civil enforcements mechanisms are unaffected.

Crimes (Wage Theft) Amendment Bill

The Parliament of New Zealand enacts as follows:

1. Title
This Act is the Crimes (Wage Theft) Amendment Act 2020.

2. Commencement
This Act comes into force on the day after the date on which it received the Royal Assent.

3. Principal Act
This Act amends the Crimes Act 1961.

4. Section 220 Amended (Theft by person in special relationship)
(1) After section 220(1) insert
"(1A) This section also applies to any person who withholds the whole or part of a monetary entitlement (including wages, salary, or holiday pay) owed by an employer to an employee, or authorises, or permits, another person to withold the whole or part of an employee entitlement owed by the employer to an employee and that other person does so.
(2) Replace section 220(2) with
"(2) Every one to whom subsection (1) or (1A) applies commits theft who intentionally fails to account to the other person as so required or intentionally deals with the property, or any proceeds of the property, otherwise than in accordance with those requirements, or intentionally witholds the monetary entitlement owed by an employer to an employee.


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