The rate, which is about $4 more than the adult minimum wage, is reportedly at a level required to afford families basic necessities.
“I’ve been working for other companies, where as time went on, you were given more work for less pay. In the meanwhile, bread’s going up, milk’s going up, power’s going up,” Radio NZ quoted a cleaner for The Fresh Desk company in Lower Hutt, Wellington, as saying.
“Targets get met, our work gets done quicker. The standard is higher because, after all, it’s what you put in, is what you get out. There’s more security because you want to stay here.”
Early April will see the adult minimum wage increase by 50 cents – to $15.75 per hour.
A waitress at Ika Seafood restaurant in Auckland added: “She’s paying you a lot to be here, then you feel like you need to do a lot more of a better job than if you were just getting paid the minimum wage.”
As many as 64 companies, in New Zealand, are accredited as living wage employers – one of which is Auckland technology company Wherescape, founded by Michael Whitehead.
“We want our offices cleaned or secure and we’re happy to pay a living wage for it. People have to live in Auckland and it’s really expensive and so I want people to carry on being able to clean our office, it’s a necessity,” stated Whitehead.
“This Living Wage thing, which is generally being encouraged by monopolies, which are city councils and then telegraphed throughout the economy is a very foolish enterprise.”