Minimum Wage RatesEnterprise and Commerce
Minimum wage rates will remain unchanged, Enterprise and Commerce Minister Max Bradford announced today.
"The employment conditions we are experiencing at present do not make an increase of minimum wage rates a responsible or prudent option at this time," Mr Bradford said.
"The Government is concerned that raising the level of the minimum wage would restrict opportunities to find work and risk job losses for the most vulnerable job seekers and workers.
"It is important to remember that those worst off are those without a job. The Government is not going to risk making it more difficult for employers to employ new workers."
Mr Bradford said minimum wage rates will remain at the current $7 an hour minimum for adults (employees 20 years and over) and the current $4.20 an hour youth minimum (16 to 19 years). Minimum wage rates increased about 10 per cent in 1997 to the current level.
Mr Bradford said the decision not to increase the rates at this time followed a review which had taken into account New Zealand's economy and the impact of international economic conditions.
Employers and employees seeking further information about the minimum wage should contact the Department of Labour's Industrial Relations Info-Line toll free on 0800 800 863.