This is NZ’s first fully living wage accredited industry

‘New Zealanders clearly want their businesses to step up and pay a fair and decent wage’

This is NZ’s first fully living wage accredited industry

Banking has become New Zealand’s first fully living wage accredited industry, leading to nearly 1800 employees and contractors moving onto the living wage.

From now on, all 17 members of the New Zealand Bankers’ Association, and the association itself, have been fully accredited.

New Zealand Bankers’ Association chief executive Roger Beaumont, said that as one of the largest industries in the country, they are showing leadership by committing to paying the living wage.

“I encourage all industries to, where possible, pay the living wage to their employees and contractors.”

Indeed, NZBA research shows that almost 80% of New Zealanders think the banking industry paying the living wage is a good idea and that it is important.

Read more: Co-operative Bank becomes Living Wage employer

“New Zealanders clearly want their businesses to step up and pay a fair and decent wage. It’s the right thing to do,” said Beaumont.

Annie Newman, Living Wage National Convenor, added that this is the first time we have had a whole sector showing leadership around a Living Wage and that is really something to celebrate.

“Banks are leading the way for many other sectors that could afford to follow suit and that’s important at a time when across the country so many workers are struggling during this COVID crisis,” said Newman.

“The message is, if you work in a bank you will be paid a decent wage whether you are a bank employee, a security guard or a cleaner. That’s fantastic.”

Read more: Hospital attendants to strike for Living Wage

The 17 banks represented by NZBA range significantly in their size and scale, from employers of over 4000 people to small branches of global bank brands.

“There was no simple solution to accrediting every bank,” said Beaumont.

“Large banks had huge numbers of contractors to work with while others had to get approval from international head offices.

“Navigating and, in some cases, seriously challenging those policies showed the effort everyone in the industry was willing to go through.”

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