NZCTU Media Release
April 11 2006
EMA Youth Rates Surveys At Odds with Treasury and Wellington Business Survey
Two EMA regional surveys on youth rates out today are at odds with Treasury research and a Sherwin Chan Walsh survey of Wellington businesses, the Council of Trade Unions said today.
"The Sherwin Chan Walsh survey of 286 businesses in February this year showed a high level of support for raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour, and a low level of concern on the impact on businesses if youth rates were abolished - with 85% saying the move would not have a significant effect on their business," said Ross Wilson, Council of Trade Unions President.
"And a Treasury working paper in 2004 found that a 69% increase in the minimum wage for 18 and 19 year olds in 2001 and a 41% increase in the minimum wage for 16 and 17 year-olds over a two year period had no adverse effects on youth employment or hours worked. In fact hours of work increased for 16-17 year olds relative to other age groups," said Ross Wilson.
"The time has come to end discrimination against young workers. BP Oil and Restaurant Brands have realised this, and its about time the EMA did too," said Ross Wilson.
"We are also left questioning whether the introduction of the National Party's 90 days probationary employment bill has politicised the issue and influenced employer responses," said Ross Wilson.