The Nats’ youth rate wages (“for when the ‘minimum’ wage just isn’t low enough”) come in to effect next month. Some of the big youth employers are making their intentions known. I am both surprised and impressed with how many of them are choosing not to go with the new low rates. From the First Union press release:
Yesterday McDonalds confirmed that it would join Restaurant Brands in not extending youth rates when the government’s recent law change comes into force in May.
Retail chains The Warehouse, Farmers, Kmart, Bunnings and the other major supermarket operator Countdown have all committed to not extending youth rates within their businesses…
Bravo to these employers!
… but Foodstuffs, operator of New World and Pak n Save, this week said it would be interested in greater use of youth rates.
Maxine Gay, Retail Secretary for FIRST Union said Foodstuffs was sticking out as a bad employer. … “Foodstuffs is a very profitable business. Their signal this week that they are interested in greater use of youth rates is driven simply by an opportunity to get away with paying young workers less,” she said.
Youth rates won’t create one single new job at Foodstuffs sites, it will just take money out of the pockets of younger workers (and possibly displace older workers in favour of the cheaper young). Keep an eye on which employers do and don’t go with youth rates – you may wish to vote with your wallet…