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Progress on Good Faith Codes

Wednesday, 16 August 2000 Media Statement

Progress on Good Faith Codes

"The Interim Committee charged with developing Codes of Good Faith under the Employment Relations Act is on target to develop codes by October 2," the Minister of Labour, Margaret Wilson said today.

The Employment Relations Bill passed its 3rd reading today and now needs only royal assent before becoming law. The law comes into force on October 2.

The Interim Committee is made up an an independent Chair - the mediator Walter Grills – and representatives of employers' and employees' organisations.

The committee plans to develop a single, generic draft Code of Good Faith by 22 September. This will allow an interim code to be put in place before October 2. The final code will be in place in April next year.

Between now and the delivery to the Minister of the draft code the committee will look at issues papers produced by committee members. Based on those papers a consultation document will be prepared for consultation with the public and interested groups. This paper will be published on the internet when it is ready on the Department of Labour site

"The Code of Good Faith will be a document which provides general guidance on the application of good faith in bargaining and how it can work for businesses and their employees. People will be free to develop the ideas of good faith further in a way which assists their own industry or workplace," said Margaret Wilson.

"For example, good faith codes in farm, forest or maritime industries could all be expected to have issues included which were specific to those industries, while relying on the generic code for guidance on the issues which are common to all workplaces.

"It's good to see that while parliamentarians have been locked in procedural wrangles over the new law, representatives of unions and employers have been working contructively to ensure the new arrangements will work in the best possible way".


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