4 thoughts on “Interview with Sue B on her Youth Rates Abolition Bill

  1. If my company takes the huge risk of employing someone at $100k/year I will perhaps treat them the same as the $20k/year employee. BUT since the expectation will be VERY different, I think anyone (including me) will not treat them the same in the long run, isn’t it? Let's say when both of them makes a silly mistake, who will you be more disappointed with? Therefore i kinda agree that some workers do need more protection than others

  2. Too many people are seeing this as a “should we have a minimum wage or not?” debate. It isn’t.

    It’s about the fact that we DO have minimum wages, and the idea of having different minimums based on out-dated ideas regarding age and work outcomes is discriminatory.

    That’s all.

  3. Jeeves, some of this flexiblity already exists in terms of deciding whether to be a union or contract worker, and checking over your employment contracts fully.

    Why there is a certain amount of “one-size-fits-all” to employee protection laws is because they only list the minimums. Any additional securities and priviledges need to be sorted out by the market itself.

    If you’re giving a kid a break, they’d probably count as a trainee or apprentice. The point of this bill is to distinguish between those who are genuinely unexperienced at a job, and those who are merely young. Someone learning to weld certainly doesn’t get the same pay as an experienced welder. However, two petrol station clerks who have been working for the same amount of time, but are different ages, should be paid the same, as they are both experienced enough for the same quality of work. Age alone is not a valid basis to vary pay, wheras experience or quality of work is. Thus, any lowering of wages should be based on learning to work or being less capable to do work. This is exactly what the amendment itself says, and provides for people to go under the minimum wage in those situations.

    Anything OVER the minimums should be properly negotiated between employer and employee- presicely to provide the flexibility you suggest. People who are willing to work with less securities ought to naturally get increased pay. Any additional protections needed can hopyfully be provided by things like union action.

  4. I have not read Sue’s legislation but I do see a bit of a potential problem here. The trouble with most employment legislation is that it seems to work on a one size fits all basis. So the protections deemed necessary for a $12/hour factory floor worker also apply to a well educated professional earning 10 or 20 times that amount. So if I decide t o give a kid a break for a few weeks to get some experience as an employer I am going to be treated the same as MacDonalds in the eyes of the law.

    Along the same line – if my company takes the huge risk of employing someone at $100k/year I have to treat them the same as if I am paying the $20k/year. I am all for protecting the workers but I do think there should be an expectation that some need less protection than others and should take as much risk/responsibility as their employers for there actions and performance.

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