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Cabinet Social Wellbeing Committee - Minute of Decision: A Wage Supplement Approach to Replace Minimum Wage Exemption Permits: Report Back



Portfo.lios Social Development I Disability Issues / Workplace Relations and Safety

On 20 November 2019, the Cabinet Social Wellbeing Committee:

  1. noted that in December 2018, the Minister for Social Development and Disability Issues, and the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety were invited to repmt back to Cabinet on the design of the wage supplement approach following consultation [SWC-18-MIN-0188]
  2. noted that the Disability Action Plan agreed to by Cabinet in 2019 contains a commitment to improve employment outcomes for disabled people, by identifying better alternatives so that the minimum wage exemption (MWE) process can be removed [SWC-19-MIN-0139];
  3. noted that work lmdertaken with key stakeholders from the disability sector in 2016 identified a wage supplement as the only feasible option to address the issues with the minimum wage exemption while also protecting existing employment opportunities for disabled people;
  4. noted that officials have consulted the disability sector on a wage supplement approach, and have since unde1take11 finther work with employers to address lmintended consequences of a wage supplement;
  5. noted that, while opinions on replacing minimum wage exemptions are divided, responsible Ministers remain of the view that a wage supplement is the only feasible option for replacing the minimum wage exemptioll'
  6. s 9(2)(f)(iv)
  7. s 9(2)(f)(iv)
  8. s 9(2)(f)(iv)
  9. s 9(2)(f)(iv)
  10. noted that, despite ending the discriminatory system of MWE permits, New Zealand might still be subject to criticism for supporting employment practices where disabled employees are segregated.

Vivien Meek
Committee Secretary


  • Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern
  • Rt Hon Winston Peters
  • Hon Grant Robertson
  • Hon Dr Megan Woods
  • Hon Andrew Little
  • Hon Carmel Sepuloni (Chair)
  • Hon Dr David Clark
  • Hon Nanaia Mahuta
  • Hon Stuart Nash
  • Hon Jenny Salesa
  • Hon Kris Faafoi
  • Hon Aupito William Sio
  • Jan Logie, MP

Hard-copy distribution:

  • Minister for Social Development
  • Minister for Disability Issues
  • Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety

Officials presentfrom:

  • Office of the Prime Minister
  • Officials Committee for SWC
  • Office of the Chair
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