Security boss pays living wage

ALAN WOOD
Last updated 13:00 03/07/2014
Nigel McFall
Dean Kozanic/Fairfax NZ
GOOD BOSS: Nigel McFall says workers in the security sector are generally underpaid.

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A small Canterbury security business is among an early adopter group of accredited "living wage" employers.

Nigel McFall, owner of Kaiapoi-based MiGuard Security, was recognised as an accredited living wage employer by the Living Wage Aotearoa Movement NZ on Tuesday.

McFall says workers in the security sector are generally underpaid. He and other such employers pay a minimum of the New Zealand living wage rate of $18.80 an hour to all staff, above the legal minimum wage of $14.25 an hour.

Living Wage Aotearoa Movement NZ has received commitments from more than 20 smaller businesses, community organisations and unions for the living wage to support basic needs.

The movement has also written to 40 corporate-sized employers asking them to jump on board.

Retailer The Warehouse last year committed to a "career retailer wage" leading to increased pay for thousands of its more experienced employees. McFall said he had worked in the security sector as part of a varied career and found wages were generally poor, hard to live on, and toward the minimum.

Also there was a tendency for security firms to overcharge their clients, he said.

He wanted to work to make the industry better value for its clients, but at the same time pay its employees more.

He founded MiGuard in January and had two employees, and considered he paid them "high wages for the industry", and followed Living Wage ethics.

Jolyon White, who is a social justice enabler in the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch, said many within the church community supported the idea of a living wage.

While MiGuard was the first to finish the accreditation process there were others following the process through.

Christchurch City councillors this year requested a feasibility study on the implications of introducing a living wage.

The living wage is described as the minimum income necessary to meet needs that are considered to be basic.

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- The Press

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