Unions support changes to Employment Relations Bill, but says more changes needed
While unions are pleased with the 90-day trial changes that the government has made to the Employment Relations Bill, they say it does not go far enough.
According to Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, protecting workers rights is a priority according to the government.
“Restore fairness into our workplaces and balance into employment-related legislation in New Zealand.”
But small businesses retain the 90 day trial for workers.
Unions, including First Unions Syd Keepa, are critical of that decision.
“I think the whole thing should be got rid of. I think it's unfair to those workers in those small businesses that have to put up with something like that where workers that work in these big corporates, they don't have to.”
But Keepa and the CTU Unions say one of the good changes is the reinstatement of tea breaks.
“Ten or eleven hours down, you have a twenty-minute break. And that's the law, that's the law how it is now. So that's all good reinstating tea breaks.”
The Workplace Relations Minister, Iain Lees-Galloway, says this is the start of their wider plan to fulfil their longtime commitment to lifting workers’ rights.
“This is a start of a progressive programme in workplace relations which includes the passing of equal pay legislation, lifting the minimum wage to $20 per hour by April 1, 2021, and the creation of a framework for fair pay agreements.”
The bill will be introduced to the house on Monday.