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Employment Law ChangesDecember 19, 2019
The New Zealand Government has announced that it will increase the national adult minimum wage to $18.90 an hour, effective from April 1 2020.
The increase means that workers will receive an extra $1.20 per hour, or $48 per week before tax for an employee who works 40 hours a week.
The increase continues the Government’s plan to achieve a $20 adult minimum wage by 2021.
This wage is the most commonly used by Kiwi businesses and applies to all the employees who are 16 years of age or older, unless they are on the starting-out or training minimum wage.
Workers aged 16-19 who are entering the workforce for the first time and who satisfy certain conditions.
This category of wage applies to employees aged 20 years or over who are completing recognised industry training involving at least 60 credits per year in order to become qualified.
Employsure’s Senior Employment Relations Adviser Ashlea Maley urged employers to start getting ready for the changes.
“Provided the rates currently paid are above the increased minimum wage, you are not required to increase employees’ wages,” she said. However, “If employers pay at the current minimum wage rates, they should start forecasting the increase to their wages bill, and increase pay from 1 April 2020.”
“Being fully aware of the wage increases is something that is vitally important to running a business. Employees have to be paid at least the minimum hourly wage rate for every hour worked,” she said.