Labour campaigning for higher youth unemployment

Stuff reports:

Labour employment spokesman Grant Robertson said the catering staff in question were doing the same job older workers were.

“If people are doing the same job, they should be paid the same wage.”

Robertson did not believe the concept of youth wages had a future in New Zealand.

Delaware North has been approached for comment.

The food and beverage concession company is headquartered in Buffalo, New York. Its website says Wellington Airport is its only New Zealand operation.

National, United Future and ACT voted in favour of legislation to reintroduce youth rates in 2013.

By law, employees aged 16 or older must be paid at least the adult minimum wage rate, unless they’re “starting-out workers” or trainees, for which there are several definitions.

Employees must be paid at least the minimum hourly wage rate for any extra time worked over eight hours a day or 40 hours a week.


* Workers aged 16 or 17 yet to complete 6 months’ continuous employment with their current employer.

* Workers aged 18 or 19 who have been paid a specified social security benefit for 6 months or more, and who haven’t completed 6 months’ continuous employment with any employer since getting a benefit.

So Grant wants to make it illegal to pay a 16 year old anything less than $18 an hour for their first job. He also wants to make it harder for a teenager who has been on a benefit to get a job.

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