Celebrating and supporting working New Zealanders
Hon Iain Lees-Galloway
for Workplace Relations and Safety
1 May 2019 PĀNUI PĀPĀHO
Today, on international workers day, we celebrate the contributions of working New Zealanders to building a modern economy and to promoting workplaces that are productive and inclusive, fair and fit for the 21st Century, says Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway.
“This Government aims to ensure working New Zealanders are benefitting from the prosperity they have contributed to creating.
“I’m giving a big thank you today to all working New Zealanders for contributing to our successful economy. With your support this Government has been able to share the gains of prosperity by:
• Lifting the minimum wage, first to $17.70 and up to $20 by 2021
• Restoring balance to the Employment Relations Act by reclaiming basic modern workplace conditions including rest and meals breaks, support for vulnerable workers
• Increasing Working for Families by $75 per week when fully rolled out and opening it up for another 26,000 families
• Increasing Paid Parental Leave from 18 to 22 weeks and up to 26 weeks by 2020
• Supporting victims of domestic violence with up to ten days leave per year and providing workplaces with tools to help
• Implementing the Health and Safety Strategy including developing tools to prevent bullying and harassment
• Progressing pay equity legislation to improve access to pay claims.
“There is more to do but we will keep supporting working New Zealanders to make our workplaces inclusive and productive, fair and fit for the 21st Century,” says Iain Lees-Galloway.
Minimum wage increases
Up to 209,200 New Zealanders benefitted from a pay boost on 1 April 2019, thanks to the Coalition Government’s decision to raise the minimum wage to $17.70.
Employment Relations Act amendments
The passage into law of the Employment Relations Amendment Act helps restore fairness to New Zealand workplaces and restore fundamental rights for workers
Working for families increases
We have made major increases to Working for Families, including making 26,000 more families eligible from 1 July 2018. Families will be better off by average of $75 a week when the Families Package is fully rolled out.
Paid parental leave
More New Zealand families with newborns can enjoy more time to bond with their children – PPL rose from 18 to 22 weeks from July 2018 and is on its way to 26 weeks for babies by July 2020.
Domestic violence protection leave
The Domestic Violence Victims’ Protection Act took effect on 1 April, 2019.
Health and Safety at Work Strategy
A new Health and Safety at Work Strategy commits New Zealand to better practices in the workplace for the next decade
The Equal Pay Amendment Bill, introduced to the House on 19 September 2018, will make it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim, using a more simple and accessible process within New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework.