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406 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 223206 19-Sep-2017 10:24
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It seems that there has been relatively little media coverage of Labour's proposed industrial reforms.  (Likely owing to the on-going lack of clarity around their tax policy)  But much of what Labour are proposing has the potential to effect each of us to a much larger extent than the cancellation of a $20pw tax cut.

 

Workplace Relations Policy

 

...some examples:

 

 

Within the first 100 days in Government, Labour will:

 

• Restore fairness rights for employees by replacing National’s 90 day ‘fire at will’ law with a fast, fair, and simple system.

 

• Introduce 26 weeks paid parental leave to ensure that families are provided with vital support at a crucial stage in their children’s lives.

 

• Restore reinstatement as the primary remedy when a worker has been unjustifiably dismissed.

 

• Restore the right to rest and meal breaks at work.

 

• Restore protections for vulnerable workers in cases where the sale or transfer of business is contemplated, or where outsourcing of jobs is proposed.

 

• Ensure that New Zealand employment law applies to everyone working in New Zealand, including foreign workers working for foreign companies.

 

• Increase the minimum wage to $16.50 an hour and base future increases on the real cost of living for people on low incomes. This includes working towards a minimum wage equal to two-thirds of the average wage as economic conditions allow.

 

• Remove the discrimination that prevents film and television workers bargaining collectively.

 

• Restore unions’ right to initiate collective bargaining in advance of employers.

 

• Restore the duty on parties who are in collective bargaining, including those in multi-employer collective bargaining, to reach an agreement once bargaining has been initiated unless there is a genuine reason not to.

 

• Restore the right for new workers to be employed on the same terms and conditions as provided by an existing collective agreement covering their workplace.

 

• Remove the ability for employers to deduct pay from workers taking low level protest action during an industrial dispute.

 

• Protect the human right to belong to a union by restoring the right for people to be visited by union representatives at their workplace to ensure their legal and collective rights are maintained and adhered to.

 

• Ensure elected union workplace representatives are given reasonable time within the workplace or work unit to carry out their representative role.

 

• Increase protection against discrimination based on union membership and strengthen the integrity of collective bargaining by tightening the rules on employers automatically passing on terms and conditions to non-union workers.

 

• Ensure new workers have all necessary information and access to unions at the commencement of their employment.

 

• Implement the changes to the Equal Pay Act as set out in the report from the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles to give all women in female-dominated workforces access to collective bargaining and court processes to settle their claims.

 

• Ensure all workers in the core public service are paid at least the Living Wage and begin work with organisations that have regular and ongoing service contracts with the core public service to ensure they are Living Wage employers. We envisage the lowest-paid workers such as cleaners, catering staff and security guards will make significant moves towards the Living Wage during the first term of Government.

 

• Require all state agencies to only contract with organisations that comply with good employer practices, have a history of adhering to employment legislation, and respect the right of their workers to join a union and bargain collectively.

 

• Commence the establishment of appropriate governmental assistance to provide support to employers and unions that wish to work together to implement high performance engagement systems designed to lift productivity through worker participation in decision-making.

 

• Reform the current Productivity Commission so that it has a focus on wage growth and addresses explicitly the development of appropriate high engagement-high performance measures and behaviours in New Zealand workplaces and industries.

 

• Begin expanding and enhancing skill development and industry training programs to support the growth of high performance workplaces, higher wages and a Just Transition for workers who need new skills to adapt to the changing nature of work. 

 

 

That's quite a lot to achieve before the end of this year! 

 

...and before September 2018:

 

 

• Begin consultation on improving minimum redundancy protection for workers affected by restructuring, giving regard to the recommendations of the 2008 Ministerial Advisory Group report on redundancy and restructuring.

 

• Introduce statutory support and legal rights for “dependent contractors” who are effectively workers under the control of an employer, but who do not receive the legal protections that are currently provided to employees under the law.

 

• Investigate options for ensuring that people who work over 40 hours a week receive adequate remuneration.

 

• Increase the number of, and resourcing for, Labour Inspectors who are responsible for enforcing employment law and prosecuting breaches, and double the number of inspectors from 55 to 110 over our first term.

 

• Extend the right for workers to elect a health and safety representative from amongst their own to all workplaces, regardless of size or industry.

 

• Abolish youth rates.

 

• In conjunction with all relevant stakeholders, develop and introduce a legislative system of industry and sector collective bargaining that allows unions and employers, with the assistance of the Employment Relations Authority, to create Fair Pay Agreements that set minimum conditions, such as wages, allowances, weekend and night rates, hours of work and leave arrangements for workers across an industry based on the employment standards that apply in that industry.

 

• Extend the right to organise and bargain collectively to contractors who primarily sell their labour.

 

• Investigate measures that improve job security for people in precarious forms of employment (for example, labour hire, casual, seasonal, contracted or sub-contracted workers).

 

• Review bargaining fee arrangements to ensure they are fair to workers, the union, and employers for the extension of collective bargaining outcomes to non-unionised workers.

 

• Review multi-employer and multi-union collective bargaining arrangements to encourage their use and to support the development of Fair Pay Agreements.

 

 

I realise that it's relatively late in the election cycle now...   but we could probably generate some good discussion on this in the final week here :-)


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406 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1868440 19-Sep-2017 10:31
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Just to provide some context for that big block of text:

 

 

• Ensure all workers in the core public service are paid at least the Living Wage and begin work with organisations that have regular and ongoing service contracts with the core public service to ensure they are Living Wage employers. We envisage the lowest-paid workers such as cleaners, catering staff and security guards will make significant moves towards the Living Wage during the first term of Government.

 

• Abolish youth rates.

 

 

...those two points alone will mean that a 16 year old high school dropout will not be able to be employed to as a cleaner in a council building for less than $40k per annum.

 

That's what I meant by "potentially disruptive".


2725 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1868464 19-Sep-2017 11:25
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6FIEND:

 

Just to provide some context for that big block of text:

 

 

• Ensure all workers in the core public service are paid at least the Living Wage and begin work with organisations that have regular and ongoing service contracts with the core public service to ensure they are Living Wage employers. We envisage the lowest-paid workers such as cleaners, catering staff and security guards will make significant moves towards the Living Wage during the first term of Government.

 

• Abolish youth rates.

 

 

...those two points alone will mean that a 16 year old high school dropout will not be able to be employed to as a cleaner in a council building for less than $40k per annum.

 

That's what I meant by "potentially disruptive".

 

 

Local Councils are not the "core public services"-  that's only departments and ministries, it doesn't even include hospitals and schools http://www.ssc.govt.nz/sites/all/files/guide-to-central-government-agencies-29aug17.pdf

 

and even those who clean govt buildings are usually contractors, that's why they have the get out of jail clause of

 

"We envisage the lowest-paid workers such as cleaners, catering staff and security guards will make significant moves towards "

 

Because they are not prepared to legislation on the living wage for private businesses


 
 
 
 




406 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1868471 19-Sep-2017 11:38
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wellygary:

 

Local Councils are not the "core public services"-  that's only departments and ministries, it doesn't even include hospitals and schools http://www.ssc.govt.nz/sites/all/files/guide-to-central-government-agencies-29aug17.pdf

 

and even those who clean govt buildings are usually contractors, that's why they have the get out of jail clause of

 

"We envisage the lowest-paid workers such as cleaners, catering staff and security guards will make significant moves towards "

 

Because they are not prepared to legislation on the living wage for private businesses

 

 

Point taken re. "core public services".

 

But the wriggle room on the "expectation" is less meaningful.  It's a trivial mental exercise to perceive that aspirational language such as "We envisage... make significant moves towards" will likely see companies that meet that criteria being awarded government contracts in favour of those who do not.


100 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1868492 19-Sep-2017 12:11
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6FIEND:

 

 

 

Point taken re. "core public services".

 

But the wriggle room on the "expectation" is less meaningful.  It's a trivial mental exercise to perceive that aspirational language such as "We envisage... make significant moves towards" will likely see companies that meet that criteria being awarded government contracts in favour of those who do not.

 

 

I object to it on the basis it will be another transfer to the Wellington economy when places like Auckland face far higher living costs. 


3228 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1868517 19-Sep-2017 12:47
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This is the biggie

 

In conjunction with all relevant stakeholders, develop and introduce a legislative system of industry and sector collective bargaining that allows unions and employers, with the assistance of the Employment Relations Authority, to create Fair Pay Agreements that set minimum conditions, such as wages, allowances, weekend and night rates, hours of work and leave arrangements for workers across an industry based on the employment standards that apply in that industry.

 

Hopefully it will be such a bun fight it's never resolved.  Although the bold text is the (thinly) veiled threat on this one.

 

The default position of reinstatement following dismissal is an interesting one.  In cases where the person has been sacked for a valid reason (assault, theft etc) but not via the correct process, reinstatement will be very difficult. 





Mike

671 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1868575 19-Sep-2017 13:45
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6FIEND:

 

It seems that there has been relatively little media coverage of Labour's proposed industrial reforms.  (Likely owing to the on-going lack of clarity around their tax policy)  But much of what Labour are proposing has the potential to effect each of us to a much larger extent than the cancellation of a $20pw tax cut.

 

Workplace Relations Policy

 

...some examples:

 

 

Within the first 100 days in Government, Labour will:

 

• Restore fairness rights for employees by replacing National’s 90 day ‘fire at will’ law with a fast, fair, and simple system.

 

• Introduce 26 weeks paid parental leave to ensure that families are provided with vital support at a crucial stage in their children’s lives.

 

• Restore reinstatement as the primary remedy when a worker has been unjustifiably dismissed.

 

• Restore the right to rest and meal breaks at work.

 

• Restore protections for vulnerable workers in cases where the sale or transfer of business is contemplated, or where outsourcing of jobs is proposed.

 

• Ensure that New Zealand employment law applies to everyone working in New Zealand, including foreign workers working for foreign companies.

 

• Increase the minimum wage to $16.50 an hour and base future increases on the real cost of living for people on low incomes. This includes working towards a minimum wage equal to two-thirds of the average wage as economic conditions allow.

 

• Remove the discrimination that prevents film and television workers bargaining collectively.

 

• Restore unions’ right to initiate collective bargaining in advance of employers.

 

• Restore the duty on parties who are in collective bargaining, including those in multi-employer collective bargaining, to reach an agreement once bargaining has been initiated unless there is a genuine reason not to.

 

• Restore the right for new workers to be employed on the same terms and conditions as provided by an existing collective agreement covering their workplace.

 

• Remove the ability for employers to deduct pay from workers taking low level protest action during an industrial dispute.

 

• Protect the human right to belong to a union by restoring the right for people to be visited by union representatives at their workplace to ensure their legal and collective rights are maintained and adhered to.

 

• Ensure elected union workplace representatives are given reasonable time within the workplace or work unit to carry out their representative role.

 

• Increase protection against discrimination based on union membership and strengthen the integrity of collective bargaining by tightening the rules on employers automatically passing on terms and conditions to non-union workers.

 

• Ensure new workers have all necessary information and access to unions at the commencement of their employment.

 

• Implement the changes to the Equal Pay Act as set out in the report from the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles to give all women in female-dominated workforces access to collective bargaining and court processes to settle their claims.

 

• Ensure all workers in the core public service are paid at least the Living Wage and begin work with organisations that have regular and ongoing service contracts with the core public service to ensure they are Living Wage employers. We envisage the lowest-paid workers such as cleaners, catering staff and security guards will make significant moves towards the Living Wage during the first term of Government.

 

• Require all state agencies to only contract with organisations that comply with good employer practices, have a history of adhering to employment legislation, and respect the right of their workers to join a union and bargain collectively.

 

• Commence the establishment of appropriate governmental assistance to provide support to employers and unions that wish to work together to implement high performance engagement systems designed to lift productivity through worker participation in decision-making.

 

• Reform the current Productivity Commission so that it has a focus on wage growth and addresses explicitly the development of appropriate high engagement-high performance measures and behaviours in New Zealand workplaces and industries.

 

• Begin expanding and enhancing skill development and industry training programs to support the growth of high performance workplaces, higher wages and a Just Transition for workers who need new skills to adapt to the changing nature of work. 

 

 

That's quite a lot to achieve before the end of this year! 

 

...and before September 2018:

 

 

• Begin consultation on improving minimum redundancy protection for workers affected by restructuring, giving regard to the recommendations of the 2008 Ministerial Advisory Group report on redundancy and restructuring.

 

• Introduce statutory support and legal rights for “dependent contractors” who are effectively workers under the control of an employer, but who do not receive the legal protections that are currently provided to employees under the law.

 

• Investigate options for ensuring that people who work over 40 hours a week receive adequate remuneration.

 

• Increase the number of, and resourcing for, Labour Inspectors who are responsible for enforcing employment law and prosecuting breaches, and double the number of inspectors from 55 to 110 over our first term.

 

• Extend the right for workers to elect a health and safety representative from amongst their own to all workplaces, regardless of size or industry.

 

• Abolish youth rates.

 

• In conjunction with all relevant stakeholders, develop and introduce a legislative system of industry and sector collective bargaining that allows unions and employers, with the assistance of the Employment Relations Authority, to create Fair Pay Agreements that set minimum conditions, such as wages, allowances, weekend and night rates, hours of work and leave arrangements for workers across an industry based on the employment standards that apply in that industry.

 

• Extend the right to organise and bargain collectively to contractors who primarily sell their labour.

 

• Investigate measures that improve job security for people in precarious forms of employment (for example, labour hire, casual, seasonal, contracted or sub-contracted workers).

 

• Review bargaining fee arrangements to ensure they are fair to workers, the union, and employers for the extension of collective bargaining outcomes to non-unionised workers.

 

• Review multi-employer and multi-union collective bargaining arrangements to encourage their use and to support the development of Fair Pay Agreements.

 

 

I realise that it's relatively late in the election cycle now...   but we could probably generate some good discussion on this in the final week here :-)

 

 

 

 

Good grief, so we are racing our way all the way back to 1970s unionism with stupidity at the forefront of legislation. As if I needed another reason not to vote Labour


10187 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1868628 19-Sep-2017 14:47
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Restore the right to rest and meal breaks at work.

 

 

 

Is that not already the case?


671 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1868644 19-Sep-2017 15:05
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No, it was removed from legislation as it was unworkable, particularly for retail shops / sole charge scenarios.

 

I remember when we had our shop, it was sole charge 85% of the time and being in a mall situation, its not like we were allowed to close for long (quick pee break ok, closed for 30 min lunch break, not ok). Ok, I worked the bulk of the weekday shifts myself, so no law applied anyway, but at night, we had a shift from 6 - 10, IIRC under the old law, they were entitled to a 30 min unpaid break, but this was not practical. I think our franchisor advised to let staff know it was ok to take a sort of break so long as customers continued to be served, but pay them for the entire shift (IE don't deduct the 30 mins unpaid break).

 

* Abolish youth rates - so why would an employer hire a teen and give them a start in life if they have to pay them the same as an adult?

 

* Abolish 90 day clause - there goes "give them a chance and see how they work out". The law should not protect muppets

 

* Restore reinstatement as primary remedy in unfair dismissals - see above, not only can they not give muppets a chance, but if they do, its even harder to get rid of them?

 

National should go hard against pretty much every one of their promises above, its unionism dressed up in the guise of socialism

 

 


380 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1868675 19-Sep-2017 15:30
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tdgeek:

 

Restore the right to rest and meal breaks at work.

 

 

 

Is that not already the case?

 

 

http://www.adls.org.nz/for-the-profession/news-and-opinion/2015/5/1/recent-changes-to-the-era-already-having-a-practical-impact/

 

One of National's more cynical changes to employment law, in my opinion.

 

Employees still have the right to "reasonable breaks", but the law change removed the statutorily prescribed periods and left it up to the employer and employee to "negotiate" how breaks will be taken. As the employer gets the final say on any negotiations, it was a big transfer of power from employee to employer.

 

National has done a lot of this sort of stuff.


1746 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1868878 19-Sep-2017 22:11
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Blimey, what godawful list. And do it in 100 days? You got to be joking.

 

With productivity like this they should bid to build The Wall. They could probably get Mexico to pay as well. Bugger, forgot about the meal breaks 6 mths maternity leave, higher wages, back to unions etc etc.


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  Reply # 1869064 20-Sep-2017 10:12
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It's a nightmare for a small business under a Labour Government. The repealing of the 90 day thing is especially difficult. Apparently they are going to replace it with a fast simple system, which I imagine will be something like: 

 

If you employ someone, no matter how unsuitable they are for the position, what they do or don't do, how they behave, you will need to pay them a years salary to get rid of them.

 

What Labour continues to misunderstand, mostly because no-one who is a Labour MP has ever run a business or had responsibility for staff, is that as a business owner, staff are your biggest asset. If a staff member is good, you will do everything you can to keep them. Equally, if it's required to remove someone from your business, the costs are already significant.

 

 


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  Reply # 1869066 20-Sep-2017 10:13
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sen8or:

 

No, it was removed from legislation as it was unworkable, particularly for retail shops / sole charge scenarios.

 

I remember when we had our shop, it was sole charge 85% of the time and being in a mall situation, its not like we were allowed to close for long (quick pee break ok, closed for 30 min lunch break, not ok). Ok, I worked the bulk of the weekday shifts myself, so no law applied anyway, but at night, we had a shift from 6 - 10, IIRC under the old law, they were entitled to a 30 min unpaid break, but this was not practical. I think our franchisor advised to let staff know it was ok to take a sort of break so long as customers continued to be served, but pay them for the entire shift (IE don't deduct the 30 mins unpaid break).

 

* Abolish youth rates - so why would an employer hire a teen and give them a start in life if they have to pay them the same as an adult?

 

* Abolish 90 day clause - there goes "give them a chance and see how they work out". The law should not protect muppets

 

* Restore reinstatement as primary remedy in unfair dismissals - see above, not only can they not give muppets a chance, but if they do, its even harder to get rid of them?

 

National should go hard against pretty much every one of their promises above, its unionism dressed up in the guise of socialism

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what happens when your "leader" gives the prior leader, a very poorly thought individual by business, the "small business" portfolio. 

 

I wish I had 20 votes :(


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  Reply # 1869068 20-Sep-2017 10:17
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allio:

 

tdgeek:

 

Restore the right to rest and meal breaks at work.

 

 

 

Is that not already the case?

 

 

http://www.adls.org.nz/for-the-profession/news-and-opinion/2015/5/1/recent-changes-to-the-era-already-having-a-practical-impact/

 

One of National's more cynical changes to employment law, in my opinion.

 

Employees still have the right to "reasonable breaks", but the law change removed the statutorily prescribed periods and left it up to the employer and employee to "negotiate" how breaks will be taken. As the employer gets the final say on any negotiations, it was a big transfer of power from employee to employer.

 

National has done a lot of this sort of stuff.

 

 

 

 

Which was to balance the dozens of things Labour had done that made many small business owners hostages in their own businesses by employees.

 

What you and Labour seem to misunderstand is that the employer might have the final say in a negotiation, but that isn't actually the case. If a staff member doesn't like their working conditions, they aren't as effective, and they don't stay. Replacing staff, especially good ones, costs tens of thousands of dollars, so any business owner is going to try and work out a deal for staff which means everyone gets breaks, ideally in a time that doesn't impact significant trading times. The employee should try and understand that the success of a business is also their success, as a business making no money, doesn't provide pay increases etc. 

 

 


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  Reply # 1869110 20-Sep-2017 10:57
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It isn't all one-sided. Unfortunately there are numerous small business employers in this country who shamelessly exploit their employees, even to the point of indentured servitude and near-slavery. Yet another prosecution for this was reported on RNZ just the other day. Of course not all employers do this, and not all employees are out to take advantage of the boss. But there is a big power imbalance and proposals like the ones suggested by Labour are an attempt to redress this at least to the extent possible. I am not an employer in this country. I do not know if these ideas are good or not, or practical or not, or fair or not. But they are not designed to make life hard for employers just for the hell of it. They are designed to give employees protection from unscrupulous employers who are not as fair-minded, well-intentioned, unmotivated by greed, honest, and capable as the ones you are describing. Not all employers are good guys.

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


10187 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1869114 20-Sep-2017 11:04
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Yes, you can point many justified criticisms at both parties


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