Posted By

Tags

Academics study living wage in New Zealand

Is the minimum wage adequate for a decent living in New Zealand?

Should there be the concept of ‘living wage’ as it exists in some countries?

Do we need a system that automatically adjusts take-home salaries of people commensurate the price index?

These and other issues would be the focus of a research project undertaken by Massey University academics.

Professor Stuart Carr from the School of Psychology and Professor Jane Parker are co-leaders of the study titled, ‘The Living Wage Scoping, Engagement and Assessment Project.’

‘Massey People, Organisation, Work and Employment Research’ (MPOWER) of Massey University is managing the Project.

Professor Parker said that the Project was in line with a proposal mooted by Auckland Mayor Len Brown for lowest-paid workers of Auckland Council and with the thinking of Labour and Green Parties for public sector workers throughout New Zealand.

She said that this would be a key issue of the election campaign next year.

Wider analysis

“The Project aims to go beyond the usual economic analysis of living wage research to provide useful data for any organisation deciding how to respond to this complex issue. We want to establish a range of indices that might be useful to different parties including employers considering costs of a living wage or a union that wants to make a case out of the issue,” she said.

According to Professor Parker, existing research focuses on the economics of introducing a living wage in terms of related benefits like well-being, happiness, quality of life, and empowerment.

“We are trying to take a broad view of how it actually affects employees, their families and poverty levels, and how this might impact on matters like productivity and retention for employers,” she said.

Three angles

Professor Parker said that the Project will comprise three major components.

These would include an online survey of employers, managers and employees; meetings with government, union and employer organisations and other stakeholders to map out policy considerations; and an in-depth case study of an organisation that has recently introduced a living wage for staff.

“At the end of the research Project, we will produce a report that outlines the scope of living wage initiatives in New Zealand. We will understand the challenges faced by organisations that have introduced the system and those considering it,” she said.

Country focus

Professor Parker said that while most available information examine overseas economies (especially US and UK) where living wage campaigns are more established, the Massey University report will help New Zealand companies benchmark against firms in other countries, and give insight into our special profile as an economy largely made up of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“Paying higher wages might not be a priority for an SME that is just breaking even; therefore, it will be interesting to know if they even consider living wage as a possibility,” she said.

The Project team will report its findings in late 2014.

Picture : Professor Jane Parker

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share this story

Related Stories

Indian Newslink

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement