Leading financial institution Westpac NZ has become the first accredited Living Wage Employer in the New Zealand banking sector.
The accreditation means Westpac workers employed through contractors and suppliers on a regular and ongoing basis will be paid no less than the Living Wage – currently $20.55 per hour.
“We want to lead by example,” Westpac NZ general manager of consumer banking and wealth Simon Power said. “We already pay our staff a living wage and we now we want to extend that to contractors and suppliers.
“Ultimately, we think it will benefit the economy and our business. But above all else, we think this is the right thing to do. These workers play an important role in our day-to-day operations and we value their efforts,” he added.
The changes would benefit 480 Westpac NZ workers, including commercial cleaning services, security guards, catering services, maintenance services and pest control workers, Westpac NZ general manager of operations Leanne Lazarus said.
“We encourage other large organisations to look at whether this is something they can also do, or look at other ways they can improve working conditions through their supply chain,” Lazarus noted.
Meanwhile, Living Wage Movement convenor Annie Newman said Westpac coming on-board was another historic milestone for the movement.
“We have always called on wealthy corporates to lead the way on the Living Wage, and we congratulate Westpac for setting an example to the many other corporates who should follow their lead,” Newman added.