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Employment Relations Bill well received at ILO

Hon Margaret Wilson
Minister of Labour

Media Statement

8 June 2000

Employment Relations Bill well received at ILO Conference

The Employment Relations Bill has been well received at this year's ILO Conference, currently in session in Geneva, says Labour Minister Margaret Wilson, who is presenting the Government's report on the ILO's first Global Report, "Your Voice at Work"*.

The ILO report addressed issues relating to freedom of association and the effective right to collective bargaining. The report noted the lack of support for collective bargaining under the policies of the previous Government. It also noted the fact that the new Government is now moving to promote collective bargaining and bring New Zealand into conformity with the ILO Convention 98 on collective bargaining.

"New Zealand is now re-entering the mainstream of international best practice in employment relations," said Ms Wilson.

"Comments on the Bill have focused on its comprehensive recognition of the impact of globalisation on the labour market. In particular, the promotion of collective bargaining through codes of good faith, balanced with the recognition of the needs of employees in the informal sector, who are employed on individual agreements, has attached favourable comment."

The Employment Relations Bill has been assessed by the Standards Department of the ILO in terms of its compatibility with the provisions of Conventions 87 and 98. Apart from the restrictions on the right to strike, the Bill received a favourable assessment.

"This means New Zealand can now move to initiate the process of the ratification of Conventions 87 on freedom of association and 98 on collective bargaining," said Ms Wilson.

New Zealand also expressed its support for the revision of the Maternity Protection Convention 103 and announced its intention to ratify Convention 182 concerning the "worst forms of child labour".


* Your Voice At Work is available on www.ilo.org

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