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April 1 Bonus for Lowest-Paid Workers

April 1 Bonus for Lowest-Paid Workers

The lowest-paid workers will find they have a bit extra in their pay packet as well as better holiday entitlements from tomorrow, Council of Trade Unions secretary Carol Beaumont said today.

The legal minimum adult wage increases from $8.50 an hour to $9 from April 1, the youth minimum increases from $6.80 to $7.20, and the new Holidays Act also comes into force tomorrow.

“For the first time in more than a decade all employees who have to work on public holidays will be paid time and a half,” Carol Beaumont said. “This is fair as it helps to make up for time they would otherwise have spent with family and friends.

“Costs to employers are minor compared with the huge savings they have made since time and a half for public holidays was scrapped in 1990. In assessing the effects of changes to the Holidays Act, all costs and benefits to workers and employers must be considered.”

Hints of a rising militancy among employers threatened to overshadow these positive moves for a fair deal for workers, Carol Beaumont said.

“But it would be foolish for any employer to think that they can ignore the new laws,” she said. “Unions will be making sure members receive their full legal entitlements.”

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