Working people are looking forward to fairer employment law passing this side of Christmas says Council of Trade Unions
President Richard Wagstaff.
Mr Wagstaff says that the Employment Relations Amendment Bill will make it easier for working Kiwis to access their
rights at work, and restore dignity in our workplaces. "Basic norms of workplace culture, like the right to have a
cuppa, to access help and advice from your union and the time to make informed decisions when starting a new job will be
strengthened," he said.
"Most employers won’t notice the changes, because New Zealand has already had similar provisions in law, and treating
working people’s choices and contributions with respect is how good businesses already operate."
"However, we have seen some unscrupulous operators try to drive down working conditions and normalise insecure, low
paid, un-unionised work. The eating away of working people’s rights at the margins was a deliberate move by the last
Government to put business lobbyists ahead of the wellbeing of working families. This Bill moves us away from a
wage-competition, free market model. It gives working people and their unions the ability to push back against
"We would like to see further moves in the future like the scrapping of 90 day ‘fire at will’ trials, which particularly
threaten vulnerable people in already precarious employment. In an MMP environment, robust law can take time to work
through. We are encouraged that this Government has consulted with us and other stakeholders to date, and we expect to
see further, carefully managed reforms in industrial relations in the near future."