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Minimum Wage: Accumulated period of work/hours worked for staff already employed

I employ staff as young as 15 so by the time they turn 16 they already have work experience. When will the adult minimum wage apply to these staff?

There is no statutory minimum wage for employees under 16 years of age.  However, all employees over 16 must receive the adult minimum wage unless they meet criteria for the Starting-out Wage or Minimum Training Wage.

From 1 May 2013 the starting-out wage replaced the new entrants wage and the training minimum wage for those aged 16-19.  Employees already employed on the new entrants wage on 1 May 2013 will continue to be entitled to be paid at least $11.00 an hour until they  have completed 3 months or 200 hours of employment (whichever is completed first).

As at 1 April 2014, the starting-out minimum wage and the training minimum wage (before tax) is, for those paid by the hour or by piecework, $11.40 an hour.  For those paid by the day, $91.20 for an 8-hour day (and $11.40 per hour per each additional hour worked over 8 hours in a day), and for those paid by the week, $456.00 for a 40-hour week (and $11.40 per hour per each additional hour worked over 40 hours in a week).

Starting-out workers must be paid at least the minimum starting-out wage rate. Employers and starting-out workers may agree to any wage rate as long as it is not less than the starting-out wage rate.

Starting-out workers are:

    • 16- and 17-year-old employees who have not yet completed six months of continuous employment with their current employer.

    • 18- and 19-year-old employees who have been paid a specified social security benefit for six months or more, and who have not yet completed six months continuous employment with any employer since they started being paid a benefit. Once they have completed six months continuous employment with a single employer, they will no longer be a starting-out worker, and must be paid at least the adult minimum wage rate
    • 16- to 19-year-old employees who are required by their employment agreement to undertake industry training for at least 40 credits a year in order to become qualified for the occupation to which their employment agreement relates.

However, any time spent in the employment of their employer, even prior to the age of 16, will count towards meeting eligibility for the adult minimum wage.  Additionally, all employees who are involved in training or supervising other employees and must be paid at least the adult minimum wage rate. 

As of 1st April 2014, the new adult minimum wage rates (before tax) that apply to employees aged 16 or over will be, for those paid by the hour or by piecework, $14.25 per hour.  For those paid by the day, $114.00 for an 8-hour day (and $14.25 per hour per each additional hour worked over 8 hours in a day), and for those paid by the week, $570.00 for a 40-hour week (and $14.25 per hour per each additional hour worked over 40 hours in a week).

Date Modified: Tuesday, 1 April 2014

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