Media Releases

Retailers’ voices show impact of Minimum Wage increase

10 February 2023

A snap poll from Retail NZ shows the true impact the increase in Minimum Wage has on the retail sector.

“The announcement of a significant increase in the Minimum Wage has not gone down well with retailers across New Zealand, with 88 per cent disapproving of the Government decision to increase the rates from 1 April 2023.”

“Many small business owners do not even earn Minimum Wage out of their own businesses and are now faced with yet another big hike in their wage bill.”  

“Retailers have told us the real impact this increase will have, with 69 per cent saying they will increase prices as a result, 57 per cent reducing the hours of work available to their teams and 41 per cent planning to reduce staff numbers.”

“A fifth of retailers are considering reducing their store hours, and 17 per cent will consider closing their businesses entirely.”

“In many cases businesses will undertake a combination of these actions. These are concerning results from a sector that on average pays well above the minimum at an average of $26.65 in 2022.” 

The voice of retailers’ direct from this survey show the mental toll and sentiment that this announcement has had:

  •    “Retail has had it tough, many struggling to get by, Covid, floods and much more. Retailers have strived to look after their staff through this, at much personal cost. The increased costs from the government leave no option but to lift prices which will drive inflation higher. It is not sustainable.” 
  • “I approve of an increase, however over the last three or four years the increases have been too heavy handed. It seems that the government does not understand that all we do is pass on the cost to the consumer or if we can’t then we even may discontinue offering that service or being in that industry.” 
  • “It impacts our payroll at every level not just those on the minimum. Relativity is important and expected for everyone on our team. These costs HAVE to be passed on to the consumer.”
  • “Most of my staff are paid above the new minimum wage, but they too, will expect an increase to maintain the differential. That’s where the expense comes in. Don’t think the government understands the expectations of employees already above the minimum wage” 

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