Minimum Wage Increases April 1 2019
The Government has announced that the adult minimum wage will rise on 1 April 2019 to $17.70 per hour - from the current rate of $16.50 per hour. This means that if you have adult employees earning less than $17.70 an hour, you are legally required to increase their wage rates.
You will need to advise the employee of this and record the change in writing. This means that you should draft a Variation Letter for the employee to sign. One copy should be retained for the employer record and one copy retained by the employee. It is important to keep a record of the change in case you are ever audited by the Labour Inspectors.
The minimum rates apply to all employees whether they work full-time, part-time or casually and whether they are paid a wage for time worked, a salary, partly or wholly on a commission basis, or for what they produce (piece rates).
The minimum adult rate applies to any employee aged 16 years and over unless they are eligible for the 'starting-out' wage or the 'training' wage.
There is no legal minimum rate for employees aged 15 years or younger.
If you have salaried employees, you need to make sure that their total remuneration meets minimum wage requirements for each individual pay period, taking into account any overtime, meetings, or time spent opening and closing stores. If these bring total remuneration below the Minimum Wage rate, you are breaking the law.
The table below summarises the minimum hourly rates and the changes:
|Minimum Wage for:||Employee description||Old minimum rate per hour||New minimum rate per hour from 1 April 2019|
||No minimum applies||No minimum applies|
|All other employees||
Are you wondering what this could mean for your business?
The new minimum wage, will likely put pressure on other wages in your business. There is a number of ways to combat the added cost that wage increases will have on your business. Additionally, there are ways to incentivise employees other than simple pay increases.
Retail NZ members can talk to our Business Advisers on 0800 472 472 (from Australia on 1800 128 086), or email them at email@example.com.
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Updated 29th January 2019