Your questions about the 2024-25 Living Wage rate

If you're a worker on the Living Wage contemplating your household budget, or a Living Wage Employer reviewing next year's finances, here's some information about the Living Wage rate calculation and process.

The new Living Wage rate is updated every year, and is announced in the first week of April.

Every year, the Living Wage rate is independently updated by the Family Centre Social Policy Research Unit.

Living Wage Aotearoa NZ is notified of the new rate by the Family Centre. 

Our job is to share the new rate and inform accredited Living Wage Employers of their responsibilities to meet the Living Wage Employer criteria.

We announce the new rate on or around 1 April. 

This year, changes to the Living Wage rate will be linked to the movement in New Zealand’s average ordinary time hourly rate. This information is provided by Stats NZ, in their Quarterly Employment Survey (QES).

Read the 2022 update as an example of this process.

Read about the difference between a 'full calculation' and 'annual update' of the Living Wage. 

You'll find the new rate on our website in the first week of April. If you're a Living Wage Employer, or subscribed to our newsletter, you'll receive an email, and you may also see the new rate on social or news media.

The Living Wage rate is not linked to the minimum wage, or any announcements made about the minimum wage.

When the Government announced a 2 per cent increase to the minimum wage (to $23.15 per hour), there were mixed reactions: ‘prudent’, ‘tiny’, ‘cautious’, 'moderate' and ‘pathetic’

The Living Wage is different from the minimum wage. It is defined as 'the income necessary to provide workers and their families with the basic necessities of life. A living wage enables workers to live with dignity and to participate as active citizens in society.'

Dignity and participation is at the heart of the Living Wage calculation. 

If a Living Wage is enough for any worker to live with dignity, it must also be sufficient for families with children. That’s why the Living Wage is calculated to support the needs of two adults and two children on 1.5 incomes. 

The Living Wage rate has prompted both the public and lawmakers to examine the link between the minimum wage and in-work poverty, potentially contributing to the shrinking gap between the minimum wage and Living Wage over time.

The Living Wage is updated every year - no matter who is in Government.

The Living Wage rate remains separate from political decision-making or government wage policy.

Item by item, the Living Wage covers the actual cost of living a dignified life, including rent, transportation, broadband internet, and savings.

The Living Wage is voluntary, a market wage paid by employers, aimed at lifting the incomes of low-paid workers.

A living wage assures employers that what they pay workers is sufficient for them to live modestly and participate in society.

By 1 September 2024, accredited Living Wage Employers should pay the new Living Wage rate.

The time between April and 1 September gives accredited Living Wage Employer the chance to plan for any pay increases. 

Employees and regular contractors of Living Wage Employers will see a difference in their pay by 1 September 2024.

Accredited Living Wage Employers in many industries have followed this cycle for almost a decade. 

There's a difference between an employer who pays a living wage and an accredited Living Wage Employer. 

Paying the Living Wage is voluntary, and we've noticed more employers are proudly paying it to their staff. Ka rawe!

However, there's a key difference between a business that pays a living wage, and an accredited Living Wage Employer. 

Employers go through a robust accreditation process so they can use the trademarked Living Wage Employer logo and call themselves a 'Living Wage Employer'. It's a clear commitment to their employees, customers, and the public. 

Living Wage Employers must pay the current Living Wage rate to regular contractors too.

This distinction ensures some of our lowest-paid workers, such as contracted cleaners and security guards, are lifted out of poverty and recognised for the valuable and essential roles they fulfill.

We're proud of the businesses which have made this commitment - from finance to fitness and every industry in-between. They deserve your support.

Here at Living Wage Aotearoa NZ, we'll be introducing significant improvements to our website to simplify finding and supporting Living Wage Employers - but meanwhile, take a look at a list of accredited Living Wage Employers here. 

Read more about the Living Wage Employer accreditation programme here.