Parliament

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

 

Workers' package for Labour Day

Labour
2000 web site "Labour's minimum code and occupational safety and health policies are designed to strengthen the protections available to workers and to reverse some of the worst ravages of the last nine years," Labour industrial relations spokesperson Pete Hodgson said today.

"That is why we have chosen to release them on Labour Day. We like the symbolism.

"Immediately on taking office, Labour will review the minimum wage - now set at $7 an hour for adults and $4.20 for the youth rate - and lower the age of eligibility for the adult rate from 20 to 18.

"We will also beef up the status of the minimum code by legislating for a Minimum Code of Employment Rights Act.

"Not only is New Zealand's current minimum code patchy, but it is patchily enforced. The Labour Department Inspectorate is scandously under-resourced. As at 30 June it had only 19 people to cover the whole country, and one of them was a manager.

"Labour will give it the resources to do the job.

"National wants to reduce New Zealanders' holiday entitlements. Labour will protect them by putting higher fences around them. We will:
· Guarantee all full time workers 11 paid public holidays a year and all part-timers their appropriate portion of that entitlement.
· Guarantee a minimum overtime payment plus a day in lieu for working on a public holiday.
· Establish a right to be paid for public holidays falling soon after termination of a job to discourage employers from laying off workers on, say, Christmas Eve or just before Easter.
· Provide in law for annual leave to be cumulative to a specified minimum extent.

"We will also establish clear rights to sickness and special leave and legislate for six weeks taxpayer-funded parental leave with the intention of raising that to 12 weeks as soon as economic conditions permit," Mr Hodgson said.

"Labour Leader Helen Clark is firmly committed to workplace equality and, as Minister of Labour in the 1987 Government, passed the 1990 Employment Equity Act. Jenny Shipley's first decision as Minister of Women's Affairs in the 1991 Bolger Government was to strike Helen Clark's ground-breaking legislation from the statute books.

"The provisions of the 1990 Act would not be effective in the labour market created by nine years of the Employment Contracts Act because the ECA has wiped out the delivery mechanisms on which the Act depended.

"But Labour's commitment to employment equity remains strong. We will establish an Employment Equity Office within the Labour Department to monitor the implementation of equal opportunities programmes in both the public and private sector and to advise government on strategies to advance pay equity issues.

"Too many New Zealanders head off to work only to be injured or, in some cases, killed. New Zealand's workplace safety record is poor by international standards and a variety of preventable injuries, such as occupational overuse syndrome, are leaving workers temporarily or permanently crippled.

"We will therefore strengthen the occupational safety and health regime, primarily by giving employees a bigger voice through the election of OSH representatives or committees in workplaces.

"Labour wants to involve industries more closely in improving safety standards and through the Accident Compensation Corporation will fund industry sector organisations to deliver education and prevention programmes. OSH will be asked to focus on monitoring and enforcement only. Their monopoly on prosecutions will be removed.

"The great majority of New Zealand employers treat and pay their workforce fairly. Those businesses have nothing to fear from Labour. In fact, we will be offering a range of measures to assist innovative enterprises reach their full potential. But the ratbags - that tiny minority who exploit their staff - should understand that a Labour Government will not tolerate worker exploitation," Mr Hodgson said.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election