Okay… So, will work for any wage, because basically that’s the climate we live in. A job’s a job, and any wage is better than no wage, right?
And that mentality is what’s wrong with the majority of under-waged employment situations in New Zealand.
According to a Stuff.co.nz article we caught, leading budget adviser Darryl Evans has said New Zealand should scrap the minimum wage because it encourages employers to pay staff less than they are worth.
Darryl is the chief executive of the Mangere Budgeting Service and told Stuff that staff who were paid a living wage would feel more valued, were likely to work harder and would be more committed so there was less staff turnover.
The original living wage was calculated in 2013 as $18.40 an hour, and was defined as the income necessary for workers to have access to the basic necessities of life and allow them to participate in society.
Since its conception, the Living Wage has been adopted by accredited Living Wage Employers and has been updated yearly to reflect inflation, and movements in the wider employment market.
At $20.20 currently, the figure is 68% of the average hourly earnings in New Zealand.
The recalculated Living Wage hourly rate for 2017 is in line with the average movement in wages. The rate is set by the Family Centre Social Policy Research Unit in the Hutt Valley led by Charles Waldegrave.
The current Minimum Wage is set to increase to $15.75 on April 1.
Basically our opinion (and the opinions of many experts!) is that it is impossible for an individual to live off the minimum wage with rising rent costs and house prices, inflation, and a still recovering economy.
The one thing the Living Wage doesn’t account for is workers who may only work 30 hours a week. 30 hours a week could be considered working full-time, and doesn’t allow a lot of time for taking up secondary employment to make up a 40 hour work week.
Is it then still a Living Wage, if the employee of an accredited employer earns the Living Wage, but still makes less than someone working 40 hours a week for minimum wage?
It’s an ongoing discussion, but we think it’s an important one to keep having!