Is your business considering employing someone aged between 16 and 19 years old? If so, this information is relevant to you.

The Minimum Wage (Starting-out Wage) Amendment Bill has recently received Parliamentary assent and makes changes to the Minimum Wage Act 1983 (the "Act"). The changes mean that employers can pay 16 - 19 year olds in new jobs a "starting-out wage" of no less than 80 per cent of the minimum wage for young people.

As from 1 April 2013, the minimum wage is $13.75. At this rate, the new 'Youth Wage' is $11 per hour.

Criteria for paying employees the Youth Wage are:

• The employee must be between the age of 16-19 years old;
• The employee must be a new employee; and
• An employer can pay the Youth Wage until the employee has been employed for 6 months, at which point they will be required to pay the employee minimum wage.

The Youth Wage can also apply to:

• 16 - 19 year olds who are in a recognised industry training course, for example those who are undertaking apprenticeships; or
• 18 and 19-year-olds who have been on a specified benefit for six months or more.

These legal changes take effect from 1 May 2013.

For further information, check out the Department of Labour website: or give us a call.

Written by Rebecca Catley at 09:00




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