Average retail wage exceeds living wage by $3 an hour

The average hourly wage is $26.65 for retail employees, which is $3 above living wage.

SUNGMI KIM / Stuff

The average hourly wage is $26.65 for retail employees, which is $3 above living wage.

The average hourly wage for a retail worker is now $26.65, above the minimum wage and living wage, according to Retail NZ.

According to the latest Retail NZ Wages Guide, the average hourly wage in retail has increased by 6.4% this year.

The minimum wage is $21.20 an hour and the living wage is $23.65.

Auckland retailers were paying the highest rates at $27.94 an hour on average, up 7.5% from a year ago.

Retail NZ managing director Greg Harford said that in addition to high salaries, 90% of retailers offer additional benefits to their staff, such as flexible working hours, discounts, additional training, additional holidays and incentives.

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“The wage rates and benefits offered to those working in the retail industry reflect a high performing industry that ensures its employees are valued and well paid.

“The rates show the diversity of the industry with rate variation depending on regional location and size of operations.”

Parliament

Worker advocates and employers are advocating for and against national “fair pay agreements” covering entire sectors. Anton Haagh, owner of the Duke of Marlborough Hotel in Russell, and Gabrielle Baker-Clemas, Anglican Advocacy, Christchurch, share their views with MPs.

Harford appeared before the Education and Labor Select Committee on Wednesday to present a brief against the Fair Pay Agreements Bill.

The bill would provide a collective bargaining framework for fair wage deals across entire industries or professions, rather than just between unions and individual employers.

Harford told the committee the bill was “bad law based on a faulty premise and should not go forward.”

He said there might be some businesses where workers weren’t being paid properly, but the government had put measures in place to deal with that, and it wasn’t true to say that it happened. applied to the whole economy.

Retail NZ chief executive Greg Harford said Retail NZ was against the Fair Remuneration Agreement Bill.

Provided

Retail NZ chief executive Greg Harford said Retail NZ was against the Fair Remuneration Agreement Bill.

“If there are issues with particular sectors or particular employers, we believe the government should use its existing levers, including the minimum wage if necessary.”

He said the approach was impractical and would lead to complicated negotiations.

“All he’s going to do, in my opinion, is enrich the lawyers.

“It’s just not fair to have a sectoral approach that applies to everyone.”

Harford suggested the bill would result in consumers paying more for goods and services, worsening the cost of living crisis.

Opportunities for employees would also be reduced, such as stores having to close earlier, leading to less part-time work, he said.

Michael A. Bynum