Minimum wage set to increase in 2019

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Published 30th Nov 2018

One Business Organisation is recommending that businesses plan for at least a one-third step towards the $20 goal as the minimum wage, which is an increase of about $1.16 an hour on the current rate of $16.50. Could others follow suit?

The EMA recently met with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to discuss the next increases in the minimum wage, which is currently $16.50 an hour. MBIE wanted feedback on options for determining the next minimum wage increases, in view of reaching the targeted $20 per hour by 2021.

The EMA are expecting an announcement of the decision before Christmas and this will be communicated to our members once we know.

MBIE was considering these options:

Option 1, a small increase in 2019 followed by bigger increases in the following two years,
Option 2, setting an equal amount over three years,
Option 3, a large increase in 2019 followed by smaller amounts over the following two years.

There is no intent to revisit or reduce the target of $20 per hour by 2021.

The EMA is adamant that business needs certainty and wants notice of the changes, to enable members to better budget for these inevitable increases.

MBIE was unable or unwilling to give that certainty, and from our dealings with them we think members can only expect to hear the quantum of the next increase, due on April 1, 2019.

If you wish to discuss this topic in more detail or you would like Business North Harbour to give feedback on your behalf, please get in touch.

Kate Thorpe

Kate Thorpe