Government extends living wage to include public service contractors

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Cleaners, caterers and security guards working for the Government on contracts will be paid at least the living wage from next month.

The Government had excluded contractors from the decision to pay the living wage to all people employed in the core public service, but in September 2020 promised to change that.

The living wage is higher than the minimum wage, currently $20 an hour, and is calculated to reflect the true cost of living in New Zealand.

On Wednesday, Public Service Minister Chris Hipkins said core public service departments and agencies had to ensure that contracts signed or renewed with third parties after December 1 paid workers a minimum of $22.75 per hour.

The estimated cost to the Government of moving to the living wage under those contracts was expected to be around $66 million over four years, said a spokesperson for Minister for Economic and Regional Development Stuart Nash.

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