Guide to employment, payroll and benefits in

Cook Islands

Rivermate offers complete payroll, benefits and compliance services for

Cook Islands

01. Overview

Last updated: 

August 19, 2021

New Zealand Dollar
Ease of doing business
GDP growth

02. Grow your team in

Cook Islands

with Rivermate

Payroll, benefits, taxes, and compliance can be difficult to manage in

Cook Islands

, particularly if you don't have established local relationships. You can hire employees in

Cook Islands

effectively, conveniently, and in full compliance with all relevant labor laws using Rivermate's global employment solution. We handle the responsibilities and legal risks associated with foreign employment so you can concentrate on growing your company.

03. Summary

In the South Pacific Ocean, the Cook Islands are a self-governing island nation in free association with New Zealand. It is made up of 15 islands that cover a total land area of 240 square kilometers. The Exclusive Economic Zone of the Cook Islands occupies 1,960,027 square kilometers of ocean. New Zealand is in charge of the Cook Islands' defense and foreign relations, although it does so in consultation with the Cook Islands. The Cook Islands have pursued a more autonomous foreign policy in recent years. Cook Islanders are New Zealand citizens, but they still have the status of Cook Islands nationals, which other New Zealand citizens do not have. Since 1980, the Cook Islands have been a part of the Pacific Community. The key population centers of the Cook Islands are on the island of Rarotonga, which also has an international airport. There is also a greater population of Cook Islanders in New Zealand: according to the 2013 census, 61,839 people identified themselves as Cook Islanders or of Cook Islands descent. With over 168,000 tourists visiting the islands in 2018, tourism is the country's most important industry and economic component, ahead of offshore banking, pearls, and marine and fruit exports.

04. Public holidays

05. Types of leave

Paid time off

Public holidays

Sick days

Maternity leave

Paternity leave

Parental leave

Other leave

06. Employment termination

Termination process

Notice period

Severance pay

Probation period

07. Working hours



08. Minimum wage


The Cook Islands' minimum wage will remain at $8 per hour in 2021-2022.

09. Employee benefits


Welfare benefit is a government-funded program designed to assist people in meeting their fundamental human needs.

10. Why Rivermate as your Employer of Record / PEO?

Establishing an entity in

Cook Islands

to hire a team takes time, money, and effort. The labor law in

Cook Islands

has strong worker employment protection, requiring great attention to details and a thorough awareness of local best practices. Rivermate makes expanding into

Cook Islands

simple and effortless. We can assist you with hiring your preferred talent, managing HR and payroll, and ensuring compliance with local legislation without the hassle of establishing a foreign branch office or subsidiary. Our PEO and Global Employer of Record solutions in

Cook Islands

give you peace of mind so you can focus on running your business.

Please contact us if you'd like to learn more about how Rivermate can help you hire employees in

Cook Islands

via our Employer of Record / PEO solution.

Ready to get started? Our friendly staff is ready to assist you with all your questions, let's connect.