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Minimum Wage Change in time for Gypsy Day

Minimum Wage Change in time for Gypsy Day

Federated Farmers is pleased the Government has announced that the Minimum Wage Order is changing to include a fortnightly minimum wage rate, taking effect from 26 June 2014.

“The Government’s decision couldn’t be better timed as Sharemilkers and employees start moving farms this weekend,” says Katie Milne, Federated Farmers Employment Spokesperson.

“Federated Farmers, along with DairyNZ, wanted a workable solution for our members’ that gives both staff and employers a stable and fair wage payment system. We commend the Government on acknowledging this.

“This change rectifies an anomaly exposed by a recent employment case, which found that the minimum wage can only be calculated on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis. This didn’t adequately reflect the current work environment in agriculture which mainly has salaried employees on fortnightly rosters.

“Without the change there would have been increased compliance costs and wage costs for employers and increased volatility of incomes for employees. It is also likely that there would have been an increase of casual working arrangements, creating further issues for employees around certainty of income.

“We have still got a way to go in getting all farmers compliant, but now we have a more realistic Minimum Wage Order this will smooth out the process. In particular, it is very important for employers to keep accurate time, wage and holiday records for all employees, including those on salaries.

“Federated Farmers has been very active in this space, alerting members to their responsibilities as an employer through contract development and communication. We have had considerable success with a 22 percent increase in employment contract sales, which shows farmers take this seriously and want to get it right,” concluded Ms Milne.


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