01 Mar 2024

Minimum Wage Increase – Are You Ready?

On 1st April the minimum wage is going up to $23.15 per hour.  If your business has made a commitment to pay the living wage, this is currently $26 per hour, and is usually reviewed / increased in September.  In certain circumstances you can pay a lower minimum wage for the first 6 months of someone’s employment.  If you employ someone who is 16 or 17 years old or if they are 18 or 19 years old and have been on a benefit for 6 months or more, you can pay them the Starting Out minimum wage which is currently $18.16 per hour. 

As happens every year, when the minimum wage goes up you need to consider the impact on other roles which are paid above but close to the minimum wage, and other internal relativities.  In some cases, there has been a significant shift in expectations.  Over the past couple of years, we have started to see a shift in salaries for some of the lower/ mid administration, marketing and support type roles. Where roles have typically been positioned in the $55-65k range, the demands of candidates and scarcity of strong skill sets has seen salary bandings uplift to $65-75k and, on occasion, to $80k. While the job market is not as tight as it was last year, employers need to be willing to meet the market to attract good candidates. 

When facing these higher pay expectations of candidates, it is worth putting a little more effort into your selection process.  Consider skills-based assessment to check that the candidate is genuinely worth that level of pay.  Employers can then expect their new employees to perform at the appropriate level, supported by good induction, appropriate training, and ongoing support and feedback.  If you need help with any of this, please give us a call.


Meredith MacKenzie │ People & Culture Specialist