The Workplace Relations and Safety Minister has announced a forthcoming increase in the adult minimum wage to $23.15 per hour, effective from April 1, 2024. This marks a 45-cent per hour raise from the current hourly rate of $22.70. The training and starting-out minimum wages will also rise to $18.52 per hour, remaining at 80% of the adult minimum wage. This represents an increase from the current minimum rate of $18.16 per hour. For an employee working 40 hours a week, the minimum wage increase to $23.15 per hour translates to an additional $18 per week before tax.
The adjustment will result in a pay raise for between 80,000 and 145,000 New Zealand workers who currently earn between the current and new minimum wage rates.
In preparation for the upcoming increase, business owners and managers are advised to engage with their accountant, payroll provider, or finance/HR teams promptly to ensure proper record-keeping. It is essential to verify that employment records, processes, and systems are current to comply with this mandatory requirement for all New Zealand employers in anticipation of the increase.
It is crucial for employers to communicate the impending raise to employees currently on the minimum wage. Consider sending a letter or email (variation of employment contract) to notify them of the new wage.
Furthermore, it’s important to ensure that the necessary parties, including the payroll provider, accountant, lawyer, HR, or finance personnel, are ready to implement the change. If the system is manual or computer-based, it’s imperative to confirm that the settings will be adjusted for the new rates.
Vandana Rai is a Senior Licensed Immigration Adviser and has built a reputation around her rare set of skills, which could be considered ideal for her legal profession.