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Simon Bridges

26 February, 2013

Minister welcomes report on starting-out wage

Labour Minister Simon Bridges has welcomed the Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee’s report on the Minimum Wage (Starting-out Wage) Amendment Bill.

“A starting-out wage is an important initiative to give young people the foothold they need to enter the workforce,” says Mr Bridges.

“It will give employers a real incentive to take on our youngest and most inexperienced workers and provide them with the skills and work experience they need.”

The Minimum Wage (Starting-out Wage) Amendment Bill provides for eligible 16-to-19-year-olds to be paid no less than 80 per cent of the minimum wage.

Mr Bridges says the select committee’s report has clarified definitions and changed the commencement date from 1 April 2013 to 1 May 2013, to provide more time to educate the public on the changes.

“I thank the select committee for their work. The changes may be technical in nature but they are an essential contribution to this important legislation.”

Three groups will be eligible unless they are training or supervising others:

  • 16 and 17-year-olds in their first six months of work with a new employer
  • 18 and 19-year-olds entering the workforce after more than six months on a benefit
  • 16-to-19-year-old workers in a recognised industry training course involving at least 40 credits a year.