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Feedback sought on minimum employment standards

Feedback sought on minimum employment standards


Labour Minister Simon Bridges today released a discussion document seeking feedback on ways to strengthen the enforcement of New Zealand’s minimum employment standards to stamp out exploitation.

“Employment standards protect workers by setting out minimum employment rights and entitlements, such as minimum wage rates and annual leave,” Mr Bridges says.

“While the majority of employers in New Zealand comply with the employment standards, there are a concerning number of reports of serious and systemic breaches, which include practices that exploit vulnerable and migrant workers.

“New Zealand’s employment standards are not optional and this Government is committed to stamping out dodgy and deliberate employment breaches,” says Mr Bridges.

The release of the discussion document Playing by the rules: Strengthening enforcement of employment standards outlines a range of options to improve the enforcement system, with a particular focus on:

• ensuring sanctions are an effective deterrent
• adapting the enforcement approach of the Labour Inspectorate to increase the chances of identifying employers who break the law
• improving information on how to comply and deal with alleged breaches and improving the processes for dealing with them.

“We are operating in an increasingly competitive labour market. When these laws are broken, employers not only harm their staff, they gain an unfair advantage over their competitors, and damage New Zealand’s reputation as a place to work and do business.

“Our employment standards enforcement system needs to effectively discourage and penalise unscrupulous behaviour to protect our most vulnerable workers and promote a level playing field for all market players,” Mr Bridges says.

Submissions close 23 July 2014.

To view the discussion document, visit www.dol.govt.nz/consultation/employment-standards/

ends

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