New Zealand's minimum wage will rise to $18.90 in 2020

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Kiwis who work for 40 hours on the current minimum wage will get an extra $48 per week before tax when it rises.

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Kiwis who work for 40 hours on the current minimum wage will get an extra $48 per week before tax when it rises.

New Zealand’s minimum wage will rise to $18.90 an hour from April 1, the Government has confirmed.

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said it would mean a quarter of a million workers were better off next year.

“The new $18.90 rate will mean an extra $48 per week before tax for Kiwis who work for 40 hours on the current minimum wage,” he said.

“New Zealand’s economy currently has a solid footing. Our unemployment rate is low at 4.2 per cent, our economy is predicted to add 43,600 jobs in 2020, and our GDP is growing at a faster rate than other OECD nations, including Australia, Canada, the USA and European countries.

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“With our economy doing well, we want to make sure that our lowest-paid workers also benefit. The rise in minimum wage is estimated to boost wages by $306 million a year across the economy. That’s a good investment in local economies where workers spend their wages.”

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Lees-Galloway said it reconfirmed the rates signalled in 2018 and the Government’s plan for a $20 minimum wage in 2021.

“We’re implementing a balanced approach to the minimum wage increases and have provided certainty to businesses who told us they wanted to know how much the minimum wage will increase and when the changes were going to happen,” says Iain Lees-Galloway.

“Last year, we signalled minimum wages of $18.90 for 2020 and $20 in 2021. By re-confirming these rates we offer certainty the businesses need for planning and forecasting.”

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said it would mean a quarter of a million workers were better off next year.

MONIQUE FORD/STUFF

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said it would mean a quarter of a million workers were better off next year.

The starting out and training wages will also see a boost, with a rise to $15.12 per hour, or 80 per cent of the adult minimum wage.

The Council of Trade Unions welcomed the move.

“We have total confidence that the Government is on track to fulfil its promise of a $20 minimum wage by 2021,” CTU president Richard Wagstaff said.

CTU president Richard Wagstaff said he had "total confidence" the Government would meet its promise of a $20 minimum wage by 2021.

MONIQUE FORD/STUFF

CTU president Richard Wagstaff said he had “total confidence” the Government would meet its promise of a $20 minimum wage by 2021.

“We are thrilled that this Government is taking active steps to improve the lives of working people by ensuring that the lowest paid are getting an increase from their employers. There are other tangible steps the Government should take that would also make work better in New Zealand.

“These include the introduction of Fair Pay Agreements and enhanced protections for those working as contractors.”

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