New Zealand passes Fair Pay Bill to improve employment conditions
The Bill, which has passed into law, was originally designed with the primary goal of setting a floor for pay, including overtime and penalty rates, in industries and occupations where Fair Pay Agreements are negotiated by unions or imposed by the Employment Relations Authority.
Amendments proposed by a select committee, which were later accepted by the government, expanded the scope of the legislation, requiring that Fair Pay Agreements also establish “the arrangements for training and development” of covered employees and their leave entitlements.
Simon Bridges, Chief Executive of Auckland Business Chamber, commented, “Mandatory training sounds great for employees, but small and medium-sized businesses are already feeling very stretched.”
However, Richard Wagstaff, General Secretary of the Council of Trade Unions, did not believe training obligations would necessarily put small firms at a disadvantage. “Large organisations are more likely to have training resources, but you tend to have training organisations that small organisations can engage with,” he said. Fair Pay Agreements would not set out rights and obligations that were impossible to achieve, he added, reported Stuff.