The Government has announced that the minimum wage will increase to $15.75 an hour, up 50 cents from $15.25. This increase will take effect from 1 April, 2017.

This increase is the ninth year in a row that the Government has increased the minimum wage rate. All but two of these increases have been by an increment of 50 cents.

There are also increases for the “starting-out” and training hourly minimum wage rates. These will increase from $12.20 to $12.60 (to remain at 80% of the adult minimum wage).

Starting Out

If you aren’t familiar with the “starting-out” category, it applies to:

  • 16- and 17-year-old employees who haven’t done six months of continuous employment service with their current employer. After six months with one employer they are no longer deemed to be “starting-out”. From that point on they must be payed the adult minimum wage.
  • 18 and 19 year old employees who have been paid one or more social security benefits for six months or more, and who haven’t completed six months’ continuous employment with an employer since they started being paid a benefit.
  • 16- to 19-year-old employees whose employment agreement states they have to undertake industry training for at least 40 credits a year in order to become qualified in the area they are working in.

Training Minimum Wage

The training minimum wage is restricted to:

  • those aged 20 years and over whose employment agreement states that they have to do at least 60 credits a year of an industry training programme to become qualified in the area they are working in. Many of these employees will be apprentices. An apprentice has the same minimum rights and protections under employment law as any other employee but may be paid the training wage. This category does not apply to those who are being trained at work.

If you want to read more on the various types of minimum wage rates, check out the Employment New Zealand website by clicking here.