Minimum is not enough.
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Westpac NZ has become the first bank in New Zealand to be accredited as a Living Wage employer.
Cleaners, security guards and other workers employed through contractors and suppliers on a regular and ongoing basis will be paid no less than the Living Wage, which we already pay our own staff.
We want to lead by example. As a large and influential employer, with a presence right across the country, paying a Living Wage is one way we can help to raise living standards, improve financial wellbeing and address poverty.
This change benefits the workers, their families and New Zealand as a whole. Ultimately, that will benefit the economy and our business and supports our business purpose – to grow a better New Zealand.
Most importantly, we think this is the right thing to do. These workers play an important role in our day-to-day operations and we value their efforts.
The Living Wage is the hourly rate a worker and his or her family is deemed to need to pay for the necessities of life and actively participate in the community. It is set independently by the New Zealand Family Care Social Policy Unit. At the time of Westpac’s accreditation (December 2018) the rate was $20.55 per hour. The minimum wage set by the Government was $16.50 per hour. See www.livingwage.org.nz for more information about the Living Wage.
Many Westpac NZ contractors and suppliers are already Living Wage compliant. Westpac NZ will work closely with the remaining in-scope contractors and suppliers to introduce the Living Wage. The bulk of these changes are occurring in 2019, with the final agreed milestones occurring in 2020 and 2021.
About 480 workers will benefit from the changes. The key contractor and supplier areas that are in-scope to receive the Living Wage are commercial cleaning services, security guards, catering services, maintenance services and pest control.