Minimum Wage to Increase 75c Per Hour

Date: 6th March 2018

By law, every year the Government must review minimum wage rates. With this year’s review the Government have decided on an increase in the adult minimum wage from $15.75 to $16.50/hour. Let’s take a look at the details.

The main details

The new minimum wage rates come into effect on 1 April 2018. The new rates are:

  • Adult — $16.50 an hour
  • Starting-out — $13.20 an hour (up from $12.60)
  • Training — $13.20 an hour (up from $12.60)

Starting-out and training minimum wages are 80% of the adult minimum wage.

Adult minimum wage

The adult minimum wage applies to all employees aged 16 and over who aren’t starting-out workers or trainees, and all employees who are involved in supervising or training other employees.

This is the minimum wage most widely used by businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Starting-out wage

The starting-out wage applies solely to workers aged between 16 and 19 and who are entering the workforce for the first time, ie:

  • Aged 16-17 and have worked for you for less than six months.
  • Aged 18-19 and have been paid a specified social security benefit for six months or more, and who haven’t yet completed six months continuous employment with any employer since they started being paid a benefit. After six months continuous employment with a single employer, they must be paid at least the adult minimum wage rate.
  • Aged 16-19 and required by their employment agreement to undertake industry training for at least 40 credits a year to become qualified.

Training minimum wage

The training minimum wage applies to employees aged 20 years or over who are completing recognised industry training involving at least 60 credits in order to become qualified.

Employing school-age workers

There is no minimum wage for employees under 16 years of age. If you employ under-16s, you must not let their work get in the way of attending school.

Take action

  1. Remember to update your employment agreements with the new rates if needed. has a useful Employment Agreement Builder.
  2. Review your staff costings to see how the increased wage cost can impact your business. Talk to us or use the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Employee Cost Calculator.

Get in touch

If you need help or advice on any of this, please feel free to get in touch.

Posted in: Latest News, Queenstown, Wanaka