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11 FEBRUARY 2022
Govt increasing wages for lowest-paid workers
The Government is delivering on its election pledge to raise the minimum wage for New Zealand’s lowest-paid workers by increasing it to $21.20 per hour from 1 April 2022, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today.
“Many Kiwis who earn the minimum wage have gone above and beyond in our fight against COVID-19. We remain committed to supporting New Zealanders by raising their wages, as we continue to recover and rebuild from the pandemic,” Michael Wood said.
“With the arrival of Omicron, we are once again calling on many of our frontline workers – such as cleaners, supermarket workers, and security guards – to keep the country running as the virus spreads and cases begin to increase. I think everyone agrees those contributing so much to our COVID response deserve a pay rise.
“Raising the minimum wage will directly benefit approximately 300,000 workers, and will help many households that have been most impacted by the effects of COVID. For someone working a 40-hour week on the minimum wage, this increase will see them earning an extra $48 a week, and almost $2,500 more each year.
“While our labour market has seen some COVID-related disruption, due to our wage relief and resurgence packages to support people and businesses, the latest statistics show jobs and employment increasing across most sectors, and we remain committed to supporting employees and employers throughout the Omicron outbreak. The wage increase will also have a stimulatory effect on the economy as many workers will spend the extra money on goods and services, which in turn, will help support businesses.
“We are Government that cares about workers, and increasing the minimum wage is one of many tools we’re using to support those on low incomes, including the implementation of Fair Pay Agreements, and extending the Living Wage to public service contractors,” Michael Wood said.