Labour’s proposals for employment law

Labour has proposed the following changes:

  • A support package to assist businesses in hiring at least 40,000 New Zealanders whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19, including extending the flexi-wage scheme to help employers hire people on a benefit at risk of long-term unemployment;
  • Make apprenticeships and trades training in targeted areas free, giving primary sector employers a new stream of workers to up-skill and employ;
  • Increase the minimum wage to $20 an hour by 2021;
  • Extend the living wage to all contractors working in the public service, for example cleaners, caterers and security guards;
  • Simplify the Holidays Act including:
    • allowing employees to be allowed to take sick and annual leave when needed with their leave accruing over time instead of becoming available as a block when they reach 12 months employment; and
    • increasing minimum sick leave entitlements from five days to ten days a year;
    • introducing a new public holiday, making Matariki a public holiday from 2022;
  • Improve pay equity information by improving transparency for women through better records of pay equity across the country;
  • Implement Fair Pay Agreements by passing legislation to set the minimum content that must be included in Fair Pay Agreements, and implementing these laws within competitive industries;
  • Improving the statutory regime to protect dependent contractors to ensure that they have fair wage and employment conditions;
  • Reinstate the right for workers in small businesses to elect health and safety representatives.