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Youth Minimum Wage Bill Delayed

James Ellingham



The select Committee report into submissions on the Minimum Wage Amendment Bill has been delayed further, after only three quarters of the submissions were able to be heard before the bill was due.
Green MP Sue Bradford’s bill aims to raise the minimum wage for 16 and 17 year olds to the same level as those 18 and above. The bill is part of a wider push to raise the minimum wage for all workers to twelve dollars an hour. The last reforms of youth wages were carried out from 2001. Over a period of two years the definition of a “youth” was dropped from twenty to eighteen years of age and the minimum youth wage was raised from 60% to 80% of adult minimum wage for 16 to 17 year olds. Those under 16 were and are still not provided for under any minimum wage framework.
The bill, which passed its first reading in February, is no certainty to be passed into law. Both Labour and United Future, who supported the bill’s first reading, have not guaranteed their support for the second reading.