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Nelmac moves to boost wages ahead of Government timetable

Nelmac moves to boost wages ahead of Government timetable as part of range of staff attraction and retention measures

Nelson Tasman-based environmental management services company Nelmac has announced it will proactively increase the minimum hourly rate of all its team members to $19 per hour, effective from 1 July 2019. This change is being implemented well in advance of the Government-enforced movement to a minimum wage of $18.90 set for 2020. The current minimum wage is $17.70.

Nelmac CEO Jane Sheard says that Nelmac has always had a commitment to paying its staff an hourly rate that is more than the minimum wage, with all permanent team members being paid more than the minimum wage prior to 1 April 2019 and almost 80 percent of Nelmac staff being paid more than the 2019 living wage.

“We feel this is a very important step. We want people to feel that Nelmac is an attractive place to work. Everything our team does is extremely important for the company, for our region, and for our clients. Our team should be paid a decent wage for doing their work and should feel valued for their contribution. Moving to increase the minimum hourly rate ahead of the Government’s schedule signals that we care about people who work for us.”

Sheard says that moving the minimum wage for all team members is one of a number of measures Nelmac is taking to attract and retain talent, especially given some of the challenges people face when moving to Nelson Tasman.

“We currently have approximately 50 vacant budgeted roles for the 2019-2020 period. To put this into context we have 250 employees in total. We also have a substantial pipeline of good-quality work across our range of service provision – from maintaining the community’s recreation, conservation and water assets, to providing professional services in landscape architecture and ecology. So, it’s very important that we are able to attract and retain staff at a range of levels and with a variety of skillsets to maintain and grow our business.”

Sheard says that there are a number of factors at play when people are considering moving to Nelson Tasman for work, which is one reason why all employers must ensure they are adequately compensating their staff for their work. “We’re acutely aware of housing costs here, for example.”

Nelmac is currently building relationships with Work and Income, Te Piki Oranga, The Red Cross, and Immigration New Zealand (Skilled Shortages) to identify avenues to assist with filling future employment opportunities.

“These relationships aim to build our capability through enriching our workforce and reaching out to people who want to be in the workforce.”

Nelmac is about to launch an employee referral programme which would reward employees with vouchers if candidates they refer are interviewed, another voucher if hired, and another voucher if the candidate stays in their role for longer than six months.

Sheard says that Nelmac is also exploring the potential of collaborating with other local, large employers to attract talent to the Nelson Tasman region. “We are looking at initiatives such as collaborating on job search and placement support for the partners and spouses of hired candidates so that moving here is as viable as possible. We want to be seen as an employer of first choice.”


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