By Te Karere

Paid parental leave and raising the minimum wage are two significant gains many in the workplace will be welcoming this year.

These along with the equal pay act which Labour is also implementing should see fairer conditions in the workplace.

Muriel Tunoho, the president of the E Tū Union says paid parental leave and raising the minimum wage will make a significant difference, “This is a step in the right direction. I think the new coalition government is bringing in another set of values. I think those values that are resonating with people that are struggling and have been left behind.”

The minimum wage will increase by 75 cents to $16.50 on April the 1st and Tuhoro believes that better pay will lead to more productivity that will lead to employees feeling more satisfied with their jobs, “Workers that are struggling on low pay, who have very little rights in their workplace see this as a really positive step to unravel a lot of legislation that has made it very difficult for workers to survive.”

However, there are some employers who say they can't afford to pay the new minimum wage, which could put them out of business.