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​Spark raises $500 million payroll bill through minimum wage hike

​Spark raises $500 million payroll bill through minimum wage hike

Telco raises the minimum wage of all front-line roles.

Spark has raised the minimum wage of all front-line roles, with all non-commission based full-time employees set to earn at least $40,000 salary - plus company benefits following a turnaround of the telco’s human resources policy.

Labelled ‘Spark Pay’, the move will see front-line commission based roles that earn a lower base salary have the ability to earn an average of $42,000 - more if they outperform their targets – along with the $2,500 in company benefits.

In New Zealand, Spark currently employs more than 5,000 full- and part-time staff and has an annual payroll bill of about $500 million.

“As one of the largest technology employers in New Zealand, we believe it’s vitally important that our people are paid at a level which recognises the complexity of our industry, yet is at a level for us to remain competitive,” says Danielle George, General Manager of HR, Spark.

While Spark has always paid above the minimum wage, George says the new Spark Pay policy has benefited over 250 employees who have received pay increases over the past two years to bring them up to the new level.

“We want to do the right thing for our people and to attract the best people to a career in Spark: if that sets a standard that encourages others to follow, that’s got to be a good thing for New Zealand,” George adds.

“We have revised our entire value proposition, exploring how we can best deliver base pay and meaningful benefits – all designed to meet the needs of a very diverse workforce.”

Given the speed of change within the industry, George says the telco has also “done away with cumbersome, drawn out traditional performance appraisals”.

“It’s radically changed the speed with which we operate, and it’s greatly improved the quality of the discussions we have with our people,” George adds.

“This is about being a responsible employer – we will always look to do better, but this is our way of helping transform New Zealand into a higher wage economy.”

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