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Wednesday, March 4

Fenton introduces path to $15 minimum wage

Labour MP Darien Fenton today released a Supplementary Order Paper seeking to amend her members’ bill, the Minimum Wage and Remuneration Bill, which will be considered by Parliament tomorrow.

The amendments include working towards a minimum hourly rate of $15 by 1 July 2011, with an increase to $13 an hour immediately, and subsequent increases to $14 per hour by 1 July 2010 and $15 per hour by 1 July 2011.

The SOP amendments would also ensure that increases to either the minimum wage or the minimum rate of remuneration for contract workers extends to the other.

Darien Fenton’s bill provides minimum wage protection for vulnerable workers employed as contractors whose employment status does not fit within current minimum wage protections for employees. The Bill passed through first and second readings in the last Parliament and is due for committee stages tomorrow.

"Labour believes that low paid and at risk workers must come first in this recession and that’s why these amendments are being introduced,” says Darien Fenton.

"The notion of a fair day’s pay for a fair day's work is important to Kiwis. National appears to be abandoning those who most need their support with laws like the 90 day Fire at Will Act now in effect, and tax increases for low paid workers due on 1 April.

“My Bill and the amendments challenge the Government to stand by workers who are currently denied the basic entitlement of a minimum wage and those who will be hardest hit by the recession,” she said.

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