by Denise Roche
It is ironic that the legislation re-introducing youth rates into New Zealand comes into play on a day normally associated internationally with workers celebrating their struggle for better conditions.
From today mean spirited employers have an opportunity to push down rates for young workers.
One such employer actively cheerleading the re-introduction of youth rates is Pak and Save.
Pak n Save and its owners Foodstuffs have made themselves a target of those fighting the re-introduction of poor pay rates based on age due to Pak and Save’s active support for this policy.
Many other big firms have thankfully ruled out paying people doing the same job different rates of pay based on age.
The problem with youth rates is that it will see unscrupulous employers game the system. As well as being a really bad deal for young people it will also likely see older workers displaced as some employers look to maximise the opportunity this Government has given them to pay below the adult minimum wage.
This policy will not create jobs or job opportunities. This is not a policy for a brighter future it is a policy of slashing wages and grinding workers down.