Minimum Wage Piling Pressure Onto Strained Businesses

"A 6% increase in the minimum wage will push more struggling businesses under", says Simon Arcus, Chief Executive of Business Central. "This increase will arrive at Omicron’s peak, and with only a few weeks preparation businesses will be forced to close their doors, rather than weather the storm."

"Omicron is spreading throughout the country, and Red level settings are pushing businesses to their limits. The sectors most desperate for government support have just been hit with another bill."

"Government needs to understand what New Zealand’s job creators are going through right now. Our members are facing unprecedented cost pressures, and a pandemic that has already wiped years of earnings off their books. Every new cost means fewer businesses able to keep staff in work as we hit Omicron’s peak. Already plagued by uncertainty, announcing a significant minimum wage increase just a few weeks out makes business planning almost impossible."

"We need to remember most businesses in New Zealand are smaller enterprises. This isn’t a country of businesses that can just keep absorbing sudden and imposed external costs. On top of Omicron, two years of Covid lockdowns, and a crisis in global supply chains, employers have been asked to pay for increased sick leave, a new public holiday, and potentially now a social insurance scheme. All while the minimum wage has risen at its fastest rate in decades. As these pressures grow, will face the stark choice between passing costs on, or shutting down."