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Minimum Wage 2018

The adult minimum wage increased on 1 April 2018 to $16.50 gross per hour. This minimum wage applies to all employees aged 16 years and over who are:

  • not starting-out workers or trainees
  • involved in supervising or training other workers. The supervising or training needs to be part of the person’s job, not a one-off event.

The starting-out minimum wage increased on 1 April 2018 to $13.20 gross per hour. This minimum wage applies to workers who are:

  • 16 or 17 years old and have not completed six months of continuous employment with their current employer. After six months with one employer they are not starting-out workers and must be paid the adult minimum wage of $16.50.
  • 18 or 19 years old and who have been paid one or more social security benefit for six months or more, and who have not completed six months’ continuous employment with an employer since they started being paid a benefit. Specified security benefits include domestic purposes benefit, emergency benefit, independent youth benefit, invalid’s benefit, jobseeker support, sole parent support, sickness benefit, supported living payment, unemployment benefit, widow’s benefit and young parent payment/youth payment.
  • 16, 17, 18 or 19 years old and whose employment agreement states they have to undertake industry training for at least 40 credits per year in order to become qualified in the industry in which they are working.

If an employee is supervising or training other workers, the starting-out minimum wage will not apply and these employees must be paid at least the adult minimum wage.

The training minimum wage increased on 1 April 2018 to $13.20 gross per hour. This training minimum wage:

  • Applies to employees aged 20 years or over whose employment agreement states that they must do at least 60 credits a year for an industry training programme to become qualified in the area in which they are working. Many of these employees will be apprentices. An apprentice has the same minimum rights and protections under employment law as any other employee but may be paid the training wage.
  • Does not apply to employees who are being trained at work. It only applies to employees doing an approved industry training programme.
  • Does not apply to an employee who is supervising or training other workers. These employees must be paid at least the adult minimum wage.

How do I determine what six months of continuous service is?

Six months of continuous employment with an employer is calculated from the employee’s first day of work. The number of hours or days per week is not relevant.

The calculation must include any time the employee was employed by the employer before they turned 16, and any time the employee was on paid or unpaid leave.

If the employee moves to a new employer, they will be a starting-out worker again for the first six months. This will apply with each new employer until the employee reaches the maximum age.

Refer also to MBIE’s website www.employment.govt.nz for more information on different types of minimum wage rates, exceptions and exemptions.