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Focus On Good Faith In Collective Bargaining

Time To Focus On Good Faith In Collective Bargaining - Knowles

Employers' Federation chief executive Anne Knowles says employers and employees should be alert to good faith issues in collective bargaining over the next two months.

The Interim Code of Good Faith devised by employer and union representatives prior to the passing of the Employment Relations Act is now being evaluated in the light of events since the Act was passed.

Broadly, the interim code prohibits the parties from deceiving each other, and requires the parties to recognise each other's representatives, consider each other's proposals, work together to resolve differences, provide relevant information and give reasons for not accepting proposals.

The interim code is part-way through a six-month trial, to allow for education about the code, evaluation as to its practical effects, consultation with practitioners and feedback from workplaces.

Ms Knowles says employers, employees and unions are asked to provide feedback on how collective bargaining is being conducted, in light of the Interim Good Faith Code.

"This information will help us make the final code as relevant to New Zealand workplaces as possible," Ms Knowles said.

"A code of good faith is all about getting open, trusting employment relationships, so it's important to get the code right."

Feedback should be sent to nzef@nzef.org.nz or NZ Employers' Federation, P O Box 1786, Wellington. The Interim Code of Good Faith is available on the Employers' Federation website www.nzef.org.nz . A good faith survey form is also accessible on the Department of Labour website www.ers.dol.govt.nz .

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