Sunday, April 01, 2007

$1 and a Week

Today the minimum wage went up $1.00 and the minimum annual leave entitlement increased an extra week.

This means that if you're over 18 your employer must pay at least $11.25 an hour. If you are 16-17 your employer must pay you at least $9.00.* If you were paid less than this an hour before today, you get a pay increase today. If you were paid $11.30 a year you will not get a pay increase, and should work in your union (or organise to get a union) to maintain the parity with minimum wage, and compensate for the skills and experience you have in your job.

Everyone is entitled to four weeks leave a year, even if you're part time, even if you're temporary. If you're at a work-place for less than a year this will be paid out when you leave at the rate of 8% (before today it was paid out at 6%).

If anyone is uncertain about their rights and entitlements feel free to ask questions in the comments. Remember these are just minimum entitlements, and the best way to get more than the minimum entitlement is to organise for a collective agreement.

* If you're under 16 there is no minimum wage - because apparently the most vulnerable members of society deserve the least protection.


  1. Anonymous10:59 pm

    surely part-timers entitlement to four weeks annual leave is pro-rata ie if you work 20 hours a week your minimum entitlement to annual leave is two weeks a year

  2. Kind of.

    You are still entitled to four weeks of leave, but of course that will be at your normal hours. So you'd get four weeks at 20 hours, which works out to two weeks of pay at 40 hours.

    Of course it may be that your employer pro-rates it to 10 days of annual leave (2 weeks), but you should still be able to take four weeks of leave from your normal hours (20 a week) if you want to.

    I hope that makes sense!

  3. Anonymous12:54 pm

    right - yes now i get it - cos you only work twenty hours a week, two weeks full time is still four weeks - a bit of a dim moment on my part!!! Also just for clarification - the extra week begins to accrue from 1st April doesn't it - it's not the case that everyone has just had a week added to their annual leave. So on anniversary dates the extra week is given - so if your anniversary date is 31st April 2007 - you get your extra week then but if it's 21st Feb 2008 you get your extra week then?

  4. I had to check that one but yes you are right, according to the ERS site here:

  5. Anonymous1:48 pm

    Aren't most workers under the age of 16 school kids looking for spending cash? Wouldn't it make it hard to mow lawns/do odd jobs otherwise?

  6. So does that mean the work is worth less joe? Do you therefore think that people who have paid off their mortgages or win lotto should have no minimum wage either?

    Some kids who work while still at school actually contribute to helping their families get by.

  7. Anonymous2:21 pm

    Minimum wage isn't set because of the value of the work as defined by market forces. If that were the case the minimum would be zero. I see a lot less need for social justice in the teenage spending money segment than I do in the 'supporting a family' segment. So yes, I think that a better system would have no minimum wage for the rich (lottery winners in your example. This could be accomplished by NO minimum wage and a good NIT for instance)

    By the way, I said most not all and i phrased it as a question because I don't know the answer.