OFWs in New Zealand to benefit from minimum wage hike

By on April 8, 2017


Filipinos working in New Zealand will receive an increase in their monthly pay after the country’s Workplace Relations and Safety Ministry announced the hike in the minimum wage of workers. (Photo: Lester Blair/Facebook)
Filipinos working in New Zealand will receive an increase in their monthly pay after the country’s Workplace Relations and Safety Ministry announced the hike in the minimum wage of workers. (Photo: Lester Blair/Facebook)

MANILA—Filipinos working in New Zealand will receive an increase in their monthly pay after the country’s Workplace Relations and Safety Ministry announced the hike in the minimum wage of workers.

In a report to Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, Labor Attaché Rodolfo Sabulao of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Canberra, Australia said the wage increase which takes effect this month was announced by NZ’s Minister Michael Woodhouse.

Sabulao said a difference of NZD 0.50 raised the hourly minimum wage from NZD 15.25 to NZD 15.75, or Php 17.51 per hour.

Sabulao also reported the hike in the starting-out and training minimum wage rates from NZD 12.20 to NZD 12.60 per hour, which is still 80 percent of the minimum wage.

Under the NZ’s minimum wage, starting-out applies to workers who are 16- and 17-year old employees who have not done six months of continuous employment service with their current employer.

Also included are 18 and 19-year old employees who have been paid with one or more social security benefits for six months or more, and who have not completed six months’ continuous employment with an employer since they started being paid a benefit.

The training minimum wage, on the other hand, applies to employees aged 20 years or over whose employment agreement states that they have to do at least 60 credits a year of an industry training program to become qualified in the area they are working in.

Meanwhile, the new minimum wage, according to the announcement, applies to all hours worked regardless of the workers’ status in New Zealand.

It was also provided that an employee who works for only two hours is still entitled to wage increase for every hour worked, unless the worker and employer have agreed to a higher rate in the employment agreement.

The government of New Zealand conducts annual reviews and adjustment of its minimum wage rates as part of its commitment to boost its economy by supporting growth of jobs in the country.

Data from POLO-Australia, whose jurisdiction includes NZ, showed there are 44,385 Filipinos in New Zealand and majority of them are permanent migrants or those who have become permanent residents or have acquired New Zealand citizenship.