The Government should be increasing the minimum wage not fiddling with changes to hourly calculations that will just benefit low-paying employers, says Labour’s Associate Spokesperson for Labour Issues Darien Fenton.
“Simon Bridges’ latest proposal to change the Minimum Wage Act and allow employers to average wages over a fortnight rather than the current weekly period, is really about getting minimum wage workers working more hours for less pay.
“The 8-hour day, 40-hour week is fast disappearing.
“This latest change would require the removal of the protection in the Minimum Wage Act which requires that employers must at least have a worker’s agreement to work more than a 40 hour week.
“This is the only remaining protection around hours of work in New Zealand law – apart from meals and rest breaks which the Government is also planning to remove in legislation before Parliament.
“Penalising our lowest paid has always been a National hobby horse. Sadly Simon Bridges’ proposal only repeats that.
“A Labour Government would ensure our most vulnerable workers have the protections they deserve.”