One of West Auckland’s largest employers, the Trusts, has brought forward plans to move its entire workforce to a living wage by almost two years.

The move will cost the organisation almost $750,000 per annum and is set to benefit more than 300 staff across the organisation’s 35 retail stores, hospitality venues and hotels.

The wage increase will be implemented ahead of schedule despite widespread disruption to the hospitality industry from COVID-19.

From September 1 2021, all staff will see a new living wage rate of at least $22.75 per hour, which is $2.75 above the government’s new minimum wage level, with all waged employees who currently earn above the organisation’s starting rate also receiving an increase of $2.00 per hour.

The wage increase will be in addition to a 10% support payment announced last week to acknowledge their frontline staff working during the pandemic.

This payment will remain in place during Alert Levels 3 and 4.

Allan Pollard

Trusts CEO Allan Pollard says the living wage was originally planned for the second quarter of 2023 however new financial projections mean these plans can now take immediate effect.

“It is our aim to ensure that our team members feel more valued and that this will make a material difference to their wellbeing and that of their whanau,” he says.

“We would also like to see this move encourage other organisations in the industry to follow our lead and give back to their staff in this way.”

Pollard says they believe they are the first licensing trust to pay the living wage and also one of the first hospitality or food retail organisations.

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