The movement towards Living Wages in New Zealand has gained further momentum in the financial services sector with ASB announcing this week that it has become an accredited Living Wage Employer, joining The Co-operative Bank, Westpac, and ANZ in its decision.
In addition, the minimum wage is set to increase from $17.70 to $18.90 on 1 April 2020.
The Living Wage is currently $21.15 an hour and is defined by Living Wage NZ as the income necessary to provide workers and their families with the basic necessities of life, to live with dignity and to participate as active citizens in society. The Living Wage Accreditation System was launched in 2014 and allows employers to become Living Wage employer accredited, and licensed to use the Living Wage Employer trademark.
Around 170 employers currently hold the accreditation. These include some larger organisations and NZX listed companies, though small to medium sized businesses form the majority. Industry-wise, the movement has been picked up by employers across industries including hospitality, education, local government, healthcare, construction, engineering and the law.
The updated Living Wage for 2020, as reviewed by the New Zealand Family Centre Social Policy Research Unit, will be announced on April 1.