New bill proposed to protect workers

Workers will have more rights and benefits thanks to the new government. File photo.

The government has introduced a new bill to amend the Employment Relations Act 2000, with the goal strengthening the role of collective bargaining in the workplace.

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says the bill is designed to provide greater protections to workers, especially vulnerable workers, and ensure fair wages and conditions.

“Making life better for working New Zealanders is a fundamental value for the Labour-led government,” he says.

“Too many working New Zealanders are missing out on the benefits of economic growth under the current employment relations system.

“Good employment law strikes a balance between employers and workers. Under the previous government the balance tipped away from fair working conditions for workers. We will restore that balance. 

“Many of the changes in the bill are focused on lifting wages through collective bargaining.  Wages are too low for many families to afford the basics. This government believes everyone deserves a fair day's pay for a fair day's work.”

The government also intends to reinstate key minimum standards and protections to employees, such as the right to prescribed meal and rest breaks and limiting the use of 90 day trial periods to businesses with fewer than 20 employees.

“This legislation is the first step in the government's commitment to creating a highly skilled and innovative economy that provides good jobs, decent work conditions, and fair wages,” says Iain.

“This is the start of a progressive programme in workplace relations which includes the passing of historic Equal Pay legislation, lifting the minimum wage to $20 by April 1, 2021, and the creation of a framework for Fair Pay Agreements.

“The legislation is expected to have its first reading in early February and I encourage everyone interested in this important legislation to have their say at the select committee process.”

The Council of Trade Unions says the government's changes will benefit many people, but believes more can be done.

“Most working people in New Zealand are aware that the playing field has been tipped away from them in the past decade,” says CTU President Richard Wagstaff. “The industrial changes announced today start the process of returning to a better quality of life for us all.

“The changes being made, such as strengthened rights for people to bargain together and to get support from their union, will help increase security and well-being for them and their families.

“This legislation is a welcome change of direction from the ongoing erosion of employment rights that we saw under the last government.

“However we think it's wrong that that the fire-at-will law has not been fully repealed, and we will be making this clear as the legislation progresses through Parliament. People working for a small business should have the same basic rights at work as all New Zealanders. This law doesn't deliver that.

“Nevertheless, in making the announcement today Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made it clear that her government is committed to its vision for a better life for working people in New Zealand. This is a good start.”



4 Comments

@ old trucker

Posted on 26-01-2018 12:01 | By MISS ADVENTURE

For some reson old experienced is not wanted, young and no nothing is wanted? How strange it is.

youve got to be kidding

Posted on 25-01-2018 16:13 | By old trucker

Its a bit on the nose paying someone $20 hr, this will put a lot of pressure on business,gosh i wish i could get $20 hr,what about all the yrs 7 days a week till retirement, and get jack nothing in the end, measily pension, we built this country,and young people today want to be Foreman next week, and have just started,if i was in charge i would stop all these SMOKING NOHOPPERS going outside to smoke and leaving non smokers to carry them its very unfair and if you (nonsmoker) comes in a few minutes late you get called to office why are you late,and yet manager cannot see this about others not working (SMOKING OUTSIDE,my how times have changed,banks getting rid of older staff,to have dolly birds at counter with NO SKILLS or manners,its unfair these days,Sunlive is No1,Thankyou, 10-4 out. phew.

Isnt in wonderful...

Posted on 25-01-2018 14:46 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Everyone on $16 an hour will get $20 an hour without lifting a finger more. Sadly this is completely naive, the consequence of what is a 25% pay increase in 3 years will simply result in all pay rates being pushed up in proportion. Taht means the costs to busiesses will increase by even more, perhaps 33% or more. That additional cost to employers will have to be passed on in the price of all products sold + GST. So in end result wage workers will get say $3 more (about 22% more than now) in the hand per hour and the prices of goods and services will increase by around 40%. How exactly is this good for anyone whatever pay rate you get?

Isnt in wonderful...

Posted on 25-01-2018 14:46 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Everyone on $16 an hour will get $20 an hour without lifting a finger more. Sadly this is completely naive, the consequence of what is a 25% pay increase in 3 years will simply result in all pay rates being pushed up in proportion. That means the costs to busiesses will increase by even more, perhaps 33% or more. That additional cost to employers will have to be passed on in the price of all products sold + GST. So in end result wage workers will get say $3 more (about 22% more than now) in the hand per hour and the prices of goods and services will increase by around 40%. How exactly is this good for anyone whatever pay rate you get?

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now
Opinion Poll

Should terminally ill people be legally allowed to end their own life or ask to have someone end their life on their behalf?

Yes
No

VOTE
VIEW RESULTS
Bay Today


Walk around the Mount. Photos: Denis Player.

Send us your photos from around the Bay of Plenty. kendra@thesun.co.nz