Young peo­ple worth less

20pc cut in min­i­mum wage for teens

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By NI­COLA STE­WART ni­cola.ste­

A con­tro­ver­sial ‘‘ start­ing- out’’ wage for teens en­ter­ing the work­force went into ef­fect last Tues­day.

Young work­ers em­ployed af­ter April 30 can now be paid $11 an hour – 20 per cent less than min­i­mum wage – for their first six months.

The adult min­i­mum wage re­mains at $13.75.

The new rate ap­plies to 16 and 17- year- olds in their first six

hourly months of work with a new em­ployer; 18 to 19- year- olds en­ter­ing the work force af­ter six months on a ben­e­fit; and 16 to 19- year- olds in recog­nised in­dus­try train­ing cour­ses.

But some of Mata­mata’s top em­ploy­ers of young peo­ple have in­di­cated they will not be pay­ing the lower rate.

The Ware­house, McDon­alds and KFC have all in­di­cated they will not be ap­ply­ing youth rates. They will in­stead pay at least the cur­rent adult min­i­mum wage

New World Mata­mata owner Matthew Hart said they would only be pay­ing the lower rate on a case-by-case ba­sis.

‘‘In cer­tain in­stances we might, [ap­ply the youth rate] but most youth will start on min­i­mum wage,’’ he said.

‘‘ If you get an

ex­cep­tion­ally young per­son with no ex­pe­ri­ence, that could merit the start­ing out wage.

‘‘A 15-year-old of­fers dif­fer­ent at­tributes than a 17- year- old, from what I’ve ex­pe­ri­enced.’’

A Count­down spokesper­son said the group op­er­ated un­der a col­lec­tive agree­ment and the start­ing out wage did not ap­ply.

‘‘As part of our col­lec­tive agree­ment, 15 to 17-year-olds join­ing the work­force for the first time are paid adult rates af­ter three months.’’

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