Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


May Day Provides Timely Reminder

1 May 2002

Minister of Labour Hon Margaret Wilson has marked May Day with a reminder of the gains made for New Zealand workers under the Labour/Coalition Government.

“Our first action was to rid the country of the Employment Contracts Act which represented the most negative aspects of the National government, “ she said. “It treated employees as `units’, based on a `market rules’ philosophy focused on the dollar bottom line, not on people.

“Labour’s Employment Relations Act has restored the balance in industrial relations and now employers, managers, employees and unions are working together to make New Zealand workplaces more productive and participative.”

Margaret Wilson said the Government had also increased both the adult and youth minimum wage.

The adult minimum wage had risen by 10 per cent from $7 in 1999 (at which level it had been for three years) to $7.7 per hour in 2001, with a further 3.9 per cent to $8 per hour this year, in line with the annual average wage growth.

The youth minimum wage had increased by 28.6 per cent from $4.20 in 1999 (at which level it had been for three years) to $5.40 per hour in 2001, with a rise to $6.40 this year.

Low-income working families would benefit most from Paid Parental Leave entitlements which came into force on July 1, Margaret Wilson said. Eligible new parents would receive payment of up to $325 a week, for up to 12 weeks.

“The government is making key changes to holidays legislation which will see employees working on a public holidays paid at time and a half rates and given a day off in lieu,” she said. “We’re also strengthening sick and domestic leave and bereavement leave entitlements.”

Margaret Wilson said the government had adopted a zero tolerance attitude toward workplace safety and was on track to implement its new Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Bill this year.

“We are also committed to giving everyone and every group a fair go in employment and a new Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner will be appointed soon to work alongside the EEO Trust.”

Labour’s Modern Apprenticeship Scheme had made it easier for employers to recruit and manage talented young people into their workplace and offer a new generation the chance to access quality workplace learning, Margaret Wilson said.

Anyone wanting information about their employment rights and obligations can take advantage of the Department of Labour’s Info-Line freephone 0800 800 863.

The Info-Line also provides contact with Labour inspectors who enforce legislation like the minimum wage and the Holidays Act.

In addition, the department has a free mediation service which helps employees and employers resolve employment relationship problems.

For further information, contact Leigh Sutton 471 9337 o

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Press Conference: Pike Re-Entry Agency

At today's post-cabinet press conference Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was joined by Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little to announce plans for the new agency for re-entry of the mine.

The Pike River Recovery Agency, Te Kahui Whakamana Rua Tekau ma Iwa, will be officially established on 31 January 2018 and will work with the Pike River families with the intention of manned entry of the drift before March 2019. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election