Buildtech has become one of a few companies in the country to offer its workers a guaranteed “living wage.”

All 132 of Buildtech’s employees, including part-time staff, will receive a minimum of $19.25 an hour from 1 May 2015. This will also apply to any foreign staff on working visas.

Buildtech is one of the city’s largest residential and commercial building companies.

“We believe that a commitment to provide staff with a living wage is the right way to attract, retain and reward staff who commit to our company,” said Paul Nanai, HR & Relationship Manager of Buildtech.

“There is obviously no legislative requirement to provide the living wage to staff but we have decided to respect all of our staff by guaranteeing them the minimum income necessary to meet their needs,” he said.

The current minimum wage in New Zealand is $14.75 an hour.

“Many of the costs associated with living and working in Christchurch have escalated over the past four years,” said Paul Nanai.

“We hope that our commitment to a living wage not only helps our staff to meet their various costs of living but also encourages other businesses to consider the same commitment.”

Nathan Potts, an apprentice electrician, was very excited when he was told of the company’s new policy.

“It’s really great to work for a company that looks after people and takes care of them by paying a guaranteed minimum wage”.

Shinae Terekia, a hammerhand who has just joined the company and supports a family of three, was also delighted with Buildtech’s minimum wage commitment.

“I’m still just starting out and my partner is going back to University in July so this will really help us. We have a five year old son and my brother lives with us as well, so this will ease the financial pressure on us all,” she said.