- This is the elephant in the room; New Zealand generally does not pay salaries equivalent to other developed countries. However we have a lot to offer and these advantages should be emphasised to attract the talent we want – which means being attuned to their needs.
- An appropriate rewards package is also about providing a living wage so parents can support young talent. A living wage is likely to be a great deal higher in Auckland than other areas around New Zealand, creating an opportunity for organisations to shift south.
- Packages more likely to attract international talent might include five or six week holidays each year or a paid sabbatical every few years.
- Recognise that rewards are more than money or incomes, people are rewarded in many different ways and packages need to reflect this.
2014 New Zealand Examples
One of the first New Zealand companies to voluntarily pay its workers a living wage was Auckland-based organic tofu manufacturer TONZU. The family owners of this small business have a ‘not only for profit’ philosophy and have experienced direct economic benefits such as much lower staff turnover.
Lightning Lab, a national business acceleration programme that runs in cities across New Zealand, offers flexible three month intern and “lab tech” positions within each accelerator. These provide opportunities for those who are interested in startup venture development to get to know the programme and its ventures, while helping, learning and making new connections.
In late 2013 Wellington City Council became the first council in the country to agree to a living wage for all its directly employed staff, currently calculated as a national average of $18.80/hr for both public and private sector employees.
2014 International Examples
Greater London Authority, U.K.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has supported the Living Wage campaign since his election in 2008 and since 2005 the Economics Team at the Greater London Authority (GLA) has calculated the new rate of the London Living Wage annually. A formal Living Wage accreditation scheme was launched by the Living Wage Foundation in 2011 and the GLA received accreditation as a ‘Living Wage Employer’ in November 2013. Since then, a host of other public and private sector organisations based in London have become accredited. Studies show that living wage employers experience increased productivity and reduced staff turnover.