Picture of three people in a meeting

After achieving his PhD at MMUBS in 1996, Jim spent 12 years at Warwick University before joining Massey in 2008. He has researched and published across a wide range of HRM and employment relations issues including the management of older workers; variable pay; low pay and the living wage; flexible working time; HRM in small firms and not-for-profits; employee consultation in MNCs; employee engagement; and HRM and CSR. More recently he has acted as a consultant for the ILO around employment regulation in PNG, Tonga, Nauru and for the Pacific Islands Forum in Fiji.

New Zealand has a relatively high, and accelerating, Minimum Wage but is a generally low-wage economy and an increasingly expensive place to live. We present results of research amongst employees and employers into the impact of the increasing MW and the wider adoption of a Living Wage prompted by hardship and labour shortages. The results suggest that a LW is likely to improve wellbeing and commitment especially for workers in poorer households but less so where job quality is low. On the employer side, low pay is often a product of structural constraints rather than employer agency, and increased wage costs can lead to a range of organizational responses. From a policy perspective, low pay and the LW are social not simply employment issues. Wider reforms are needed to address housing and other costs as well as avoiding welfare traps.

Register here