Minimum Wage – From 1st April 2016
There are three groups to calculate minimum wages for. These are the 'Adult Minimum Wage', 'Starting-Out Wage' and 'Training Minimum Wage'. The Starting-Out and Training minimum wage rates are 80% of the Adult minimum wage.
Adult Minimum Wage
This applies to all workers who are 16 years old and over, provided the "Starting-Out" minimum wage and the "Training" minimum wages are not applicable, or, if the wages are applicable, employees are involved in supervising or training other employees. From April 1st 2016 the adult minimum wage increased from $14.75 per hour to $15.25.
Calculating Minimum Wage
The Minimum Wage Order changed to allow a fortnightly minimum wage rate effective from June 26, 2014.
Before that date minimum wage can only be assessed on an hourly, daily or weekly basis.
The fortnightly calculation allows an employer to offset payments for work in one week against payments due to the worker in the following week. Salaried workers are currently entitled to the minimum weekly wage of $610 per week for a 40 hour week, plus the minimum hourly wage of $15.25 for each hour thereafter. The change allows employers to average this fortnightly so that workers would be paid $1,200 per fortnight, plus the minimum hourly rate for each hour above 80 hours per fortnight.
Starting-Out Minimum Wage
From April 1st 2016, the Starting-Out minimum wage increased from $11.80 per hour to $12.20.
Starting-Out workers are:
* employees aged 16 or 17 years who have not yet completed six months of continuous employment with their current employer;
* employees aged 18 or 19 years who have been paid a specified social security benefit for six months or more, and who have not yet completed six months continuous employment with any employer since they started being paid a benefit. Once they have completed six months continuous employment with a single employer, they will no longer be a starting-out worker, and must be paid at least the adult minimum wage rate.
* 16 to 19 year old employees who are required by their employment agreement to undertake industry training for at least 40 credits a year in order to become qualified.
Training Minimum Wage
This applies to employees aged 20 or over who are required by their employment agreements to undertake at least 60 credits a year of a recognised industry training programme in order to become qualified. From April 1st 2016, the training minimum wage also increased from $11.80 per hour to $12.20.
Additional Information Regarding Minimum Wage
There is no set rate for employees under 16 years old.
The rates are gross before tax.
Holiday pay must be paid in addition to the minimum wage.
There are serious ramifications for breaches of Minimum Wage requirements (and holiday pay) and Labour Inspectors (Labour Department) have the power to issue demand notices if:
- An employee complains and the Inspector believes the employee has not received wages or holiday pay;
- Where the employer has been given a 7 day notice to comment on the complaint and the Inspector is satisfied the employee is entitled to the wages or holiday pay.
Labour Inspectors can enter the employer's premises under the provisions of the Act, interview people and require copies of wages, time and holiday records.
Employers who fail to comply with any 'requirements' of Inspectors face penalties under the Act.
Youth Age Restrictions on Dangerous Work
If you are under 15 year old, there are places where you can't work.
These restrictions also apply to people under 15 visiting the workplace. They don't apply to any areas if the employee works at all times in an office in that area, or in any part of that area used only for selling goods or services. They don't apply to visitors who are under direct adult supervision, on a guided tour or who are in areas accessible to the public. No-one under 15 can work if:
- Goods are being prepared or made for sale:
- Any construction work is being done:
- Any logging or tree-felling work is being done:
- The work involves machinery. This includes using or cleaning any machine, powered tool or appliance:
- Any other work is being done in that area that is likely to harm them:
- This doesn't apply if at all times they work in the office or in any area used only to sell goods or services.
No-one under 15 can:
- Drive or ride on a tractor, implement, mobile plant or other vehicles.
- Operate machinery.
- Lift heavy loads or perform any other work that is likely to injure their health.
There is an exemption for agricultural work, where the young person is over 13 years old and:
- is not an employee and:
- has been, or is being, trained in the safe use of a tractor or any implement that is attached to or drawn by the tractor.
No-one under 16 can work during school hours or, after 10pm and before 6am.