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


Government moves to make KiwiSaver fairer

12 July 2008 Media Statement

Government moves to make KiwiSaver fairer

The government is going to amend the Employment Relations Act to ensure employers meet their obligations to pay contributions to their employee's KiwiSaver accounts, Labour Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

This will address the situation that has seen some employees paying their employer’s contribution to their KiwiSaver account out of their own salary.

"I have had reports of employers paying KiwiSaver and non-KiwiSaver members differently, and the government intends to clearly specify that this sort of behaviour will be illegal," Trevor Mallard said.

"We originally left this issue to employers and employees to agree to in their employment agreement negotiations on the understanding that employers would take the extra costs into account across the entirety of their workforce. This clearly hasn’t happened.

"Many employers are embracing KiwiSaver and this is to be commended. However, there is no way that it is fair for one employee to be paid less each week in their take home pay than an employee doing the same tasks, simply because they choose to be in KiwiSaver and the other employee doesn’t.

"This is particularly an issue for employees on ‘total remuneration’ packages, which some employers have insisted include the employer’s one per cent compulsory contribution to KiwiSaver.

"In some particularly bad cases this has meant that the employee gets a one per cent pay cut, which the employer uses to pay their compulsory contribution, while pocketing the $20 per week tax credit the government provides them.

"The $20 per week tax credit will compensate employers for their contribution to employees earning up to $104,000 a year in the first year (2008/09).

"Another type of unlawful behaviour will be where an employer could offer non-KiwiSaver members a four per cent pay rise, and offer KiwiSaver members a three per cent pay rise.

"KiwiSaver members should not be treated less favourably, and the government will change the Employment Relations Act to make it unlawful to offer lesser terms and conditions to a KiwiSaver employee on the basis of their KiwiSaver membership. Such action would give rise to a personal grievance."

He says the law changes would not affect employers’ eligibility for the employer tax credit, and employers and employees would still have to operate within the good faith bargaining framework in the Employment Relations Act. The law change would come into force on the date the amendments are introduced to the House, but would not effect employment agreements already entered into before that date.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>




Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>


Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>


Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>


(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>






Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election