Important Updates to Legislation, IRD and Crystal Payroll

March 10, 2024by Crystal Payroll

As we approach the 2024 tax year, significant changes will come into effect. These include three legislative alterations to employment laws coming April 1st and an important IRD update impacting payroll for those using the self-service option. At Crystal Payroll, we’re always updated and prepared for these changes. We’ve also got some great system updates to share to keep you informed on how we’re constantly improving. 

Legislation Changes

Minimum Wage Increase

A key change coming April 1st is the minimum wage increase from $22.70 to $23.15 per hour. Consequently, the training and starting-out wage will rise to $18.52 from the current minimum rate of $18.16 per hour, remaining at 80% of the adult minimum wage. 

To put the increase into perspective, an employee working 40 hours per week at the old rate earned $47,216 before tax annually, whereas at the new rate, they will earn $48,152. This translates to an extra $936 annually or about $18 more per week for an employee working 40 hours at minimum wage.

Due to this upcoming minimum wage increase, employers will need to adjust the wages for employees currently earning below the new minimum wage of $23.15 per hour. To facilitate this transition, Crystal Payroll will automatically update the wage rates for all employees currently on or between the current and new minimum wages. This means anyone earning from $22.70 to $23.14 per hour will be adjusted to the new rate of $23.15 per hour. However, if you prefer to manage this wage adjustment manually, please let us know by emailing our support team at

It’s important to note that the training wage will not be adjusted to reflect this increase in the minimum wage.

ACC Earners’ Levy

Secondly, Employees will see a slight increase in their levy deductions. The ACC earners’ levy rate has been increased to 1.60% from the previous rate of 1.53%, an increase of 0.07%. For those earning up to the maximum liable earnings limit, the increase will be proportional to their income. The maximum liable earnings limit for this levy will be $142,283. For individuals earning more than NZ$142,283 annually, their levy contribution will be capped at a maximum amount of NZ$2,276.52.

Student Loan Repayment Threshold

Thirdly, the threshold for student loan repayments will be raised to NZ$24,128 for the financial year 2024, up from NZ$22,828. This change means that individuals earning below this new threshold will not be required to make student loan repayments

The IRD states that for the 2024 tax year that “The amount you have to pay to your student loan each year is 12% of every dollar you earn over the repayment threshold.” The annual repayment threshold increase means that all frequency rates have changed too. 

The repayment threshold is now broken down into the following pay period thresholds:

  • $464 if you’re paid weekly.
  • $928 if you’re paid fortnightly.
  • $1,856 if you’re paid every 4 weeks.
  • $2,010 if you’re paid monthly.


Individuals with student loans who earn below the new threshold will benefit as they won’t have to make repayments until their earnings exceed this limit. This can provide some financial relief, particularly to those starting their careers or working part-time.

Want to know how long it will take to pay back your student loan? Have a look here.

What do you need to do?

Crystal Payroll is set to seamlessly integrate all the recent and forthcoming changes to New Zealand’s payroll system as soon as they take effect. There’s no need for you to take any action, as Crystal will automatically update the ACC earners’ levy within the PAYE calculations, apply the student loan deductions to employees’ pay as required, and implement the new minimum wage rate starting from April 1st, 2024. Rest assured, these updates will be handled efficiently, ensuring compliance with the latest payroll regulations without any additional effort on your part.

IRD changes

As part of our commitment to keeping you informed and ahead of the curve, we need to share an important update from the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) that will affect the way we manage payroll filings together.

Our development team has been in close discussions with the IRD, advocating for a smooth transition into the new tax year. Despite our efforts to delay some changes that could introduce challenges, the IRD has decided to proceed with these updates. 

Starting this tax year, all our Self Service clients will need to take an important step: authenticating your MyIR accounts with Crystal Payroll. This change arises because PAYE intermediaries, like us, will no longer be able to file on your behalf without direct linkage or authentication. This might sound a bit technical, but don’t worry – we’re here to guide you through every step.

To make this process as seamless as possible, we’re introducing a new reminder feature. Whenever it’s time to set up authentication, you’ll see a prompt to ensure you’re all set. It’s a simple step, but one that’s essential. Without this authentication, we won’t be able to file returns for you, which could lead to late filing notifications or penalties from the IRD.

As always, our team is on hand to assist with any questions or concerns you might have about setting up your MyIR authentication with Crystal Payroll.

System Updates

Exciting news! We’ve added a feature a lot of you have been asking for. It’s a small change with a big impact on personalization. Say hello to Personalized Payslips! Now you can upload your company logo in General Settings, giving your payslips that custom, professional look.

Our development team is always hard at work to enhance Crystal Payroll, ensuring it remains the best choice for your payroll needs. Here’s a snapshot of even more of the new features we’ve rolled out already this year:

General Enhancements

  • Department-Specific Leave Allocation: Now, you can assign any leave type to particular departments or branches.
  • Enhanced Reporting: Leave accruals are now visible in the Payroll Variance report.
  • Improved Timesheet Note Size: We’ve increased the note size for employee timesheet input, making it easier to record and read your notes.
  • Updated Help Index: Find new updates in our guides on managing public holidays and annual leave.
  • Streamlined General Ledger Analysis: Access this report directly from the “Take Home Pay” section, and seamlessly integrate with “Send to Xero.”
  • Cash-Up Overtime in Lieu: Utilize the “Cash-Up Entitlement” function for this purpose.
  • Multi-Employee Regular Allowances/Deductions: Apply these to several employees simultaneously.
  • Expanded Leave Tracking: Leave without pay is now included in the “Leave Taken History” report.
  • Automated Timesheet Notifications: Crystal Timesheets now automatically alert managers via email.
  • Selective Leave Approval: Assign leave approval permissions to designated managers.

API/Integration Updates

  • Empower Time & Attendance: We have created a seamless API integration so you can easily pull your timesheet hours in Crystal Payroll.
  • KIM Time & Attendance: now features a seamless API integration.
  • JP Morgan GDFF Banking Integration: Enjoy streamlined banking processes for JP Morgan with this new integration.

Remember, our Crystal Payroll support team is always here to assist you with any questions or guidance you might need regarding the new changes. Your peace of mind is our priority.

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