Christopher Adams

Christopher Adams is the Markets and Banking reporter for the New Zealand Herald

Spring pay boost for The Warehouse workers

The Warehouse chief executive Mark Powell. The company is trying to increase worker pay rates and training, in an attempt to make a retail career more attractive.  Photo Dean Purcell
The Warehouse chief executive Mark Powell. The company is trying to increase worker pay rates and training, in an attempt to make a retail career more attractive. Photo Dean Purcell

The Warehouse says the first stage of its "career retailer wage" plan will deliver an extra $30 to $65 to the pay packets of 3800 staff when it comes into effect on August 1.

The special wage is available to staff at the retail firm who have completed full training for their role and worked 5000 hours or more.

Around 200 additional staff would able to move on to the new rate every quarter following the implementation of the plan next month, the first stage of which will represent an investment of about $3 million from the company.

"By the end of this year, about 60 per cent of all permanent team members across the group will be earning the career retailer wage or higher," said The Warehouse chief executive Mark Powell. "The second stage, in one year's time, will give a further significant pay increase to the full career retailer wage level."

In May, the company said the second phase would cost an estimated $2 million to $2.5 million.

Powell said the wage plan was a key element of its strategy to make retail a more attractive career.

The extra pay will go to staff across all the The Warehouse Group's businesses, including The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery and Noel Leeming.

The Warehouse has used the union-led New Zealand Living Wage campaign as a benchmark. The campaign asserted the need for an increase in the country's minimum wage to address a growing income gap between rich and poor.

In the first half of its financial year, Warehouse spent $169.4 million on employee expenses, or about 15 per cent of its $1.1 billion revenue.

- additional reporting BusinessDesk

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