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Is there a youth minimum wage?

Friday 28 February, 2020

Yes - but only for those who fall into the specific requirements of either the starting out minimum wage or the training minimum wage. There is no specified minimum wage for those under 16 years old.


The Starting Out Minimum Wage

This is 80% of the adult minimum wage. Currently this is $14.16 but will rise to $15.12 on April 1st 2020.

Who can this apply to?

  • 16 and 17 year olds who have worked for their employer for less than 6 months. This includes any holidays and time worked before they turned 16.
  • 18 and 19 years old who have been on a benefit for six months or more and haven’t completed six months continuous employment with any employer. The starting-out minimum wage applies to workers who are:
  • 16 to 19-year-old employees whose employment agreement states they have to undertake industry training for at least 40 credits a year in order to become qualified in the area they are working in.

Who does it not apply to?

  • Anyone over 17 years old, who does not fit the catergories above, unless they are on the training minimum wage.
  • Anyone who is supervising or training other workers. They must then be paid adult minimum wage.


The Training Minimum Wage

The training minimum wage is also 80% of the adult minimum wage.

Who can this apply to?

  • Employees aged 20 years or over whose employment agreement states that they have to do at least 60 credits a year of an industry training programme to become qualified in the area they are working in. Note the requirement for credits must be specified in the contract. Generally these are apprentices.

Who doesn’t it apply to?

  • Employees being trained at work. It only applies to those in an approved industry training programme
  • Anyone who is supervising or training other workers. They must then be paid adult minimum wage.


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