Another first for the first IP firm in New Zealand
We were surprised to read that staff at some law firms were working such long hours that they were not paid the legal minimum wage for the hours worked. In New Zealand the minimum wage paid to any worker is set by the government and is reviewed each year. At time of writing (May 2021) the minimum wage is set at NZ$ 20 per hour.
To obtain an independent assessment, we applied to Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand for accreditation and confirmed our belief that all our staff are paid more than the "living wage".
The living wage is defined by Living Wage Movement as: "the income necessary to provide workers and their families with the basic necessities of life. A living wage will enable workers to live with dignity and to participate as active citizens in society". The Living Wage rate is voluntary and the current 2020/2021 Living Wage is $22.10. The rate will increase to $22.75 on 1 September 2021.
An interesting aspect of the accreditation process was the requirement to look at the pay rates of any onsite contractors who did work for our business. We are pleased to report that following the accreditation process any contractor providing services to our business are paid at least the "living wage" when working for us.
It is fitting that the first IP firm in New Zealand is now the first IP firm accredited by Living Wage Aotearoa as being a living wage employer. Henry Hughes Law joins a small number of law firms that have been accredited as living wage employers. We hope that the list of living wage employer law firms will grow!
For those readers in New Zealand, we encourage you to support other living wage accredited employers.