Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Minimum Wage Order amendment lets down low paid workers

ZCTU Media Release

Unwise, unfair and unnecessary: Minimum Wage Order amendment lets down low paid workers

The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is disappointed with the decision today by Minister of Labour Simon Bridges to amend the Minimum Wage Order to allow wages to be calculated over a fortnight.

Jeff Sissons, CTU General Counsel says: “This is an example of poor policy making on the hoof. The Government is succumbing to pressure from dairy farmers to change a system that has worked well since the 1890s. It will benefit some of the worst employers in the country and could result in pay reductions for thousands of workers near the minimum wage.”

A move to fortnightly calculation allows an employer to offset payments for work in one week against payments due to the worker in the following week. For example, the weekly minimum wage is currently $570 per week (and the new fortnightly rate will be $1,140 therefore). A worker who earns $670 in one week (for example through overtime, shift rates other payments) then only $470 dollars in the next week. Under current law, the worker would be able to claim for payment up to $570 in the second week whereas under the new law the employer would be able to count the additional payments in the first week.

These changes make it more attractive for employers to make their workers undertake long hours. Along with proposed changes to remove guaranteed rest and meal breaks, they will lead to greater fatigue and more accidents.

Sissons says: “We understand that the amendment comes as a direct result of lobbying by dairy farmers. The dairy farmers are pushing for a loosening of employment laws following Ministry of Business Employment and Innovation inspections finding that almost three quarters of the dairy farms inspected (31 of 44 farms) breached their workers’ basic employment rights. This change sends a message to employers that they should lobby their way out of basic obligations rather than observe them. The Government should be encouraging farmers to improve their workers’ pay and conditions, not worsen them.”

“The Minister of Finance has said that workers should expect to see higher wages as the economy picks up. However, this change along with others such as the reintroduction of youth sub-minimum wages and proposed weakening of collective bargaining rights actively hinder workers’ attempts to get a fair week’s pay for a fair week’s work.”

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Regulators: Govt To ‘Crowd-Source’ Regulatory Advice

A wide-ranging set of reforms is to be implemented to shake up the way New Zealand government agencies develop, write and implement regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Board Appointments: Some Minister Appoint Less The 3 In 10 Women

“It’s 2015 not 1915: Ministers who appoint less than 3 in 10 women to their boards must do better, they have no excuse but to do better,” said Dr Blue. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The 1990s Retro Proposals For Our Health System

As we learned yesterday, the reviews propose that the democratically elected representation on DHBs should be reduced, such that community wishes will be able to be over-ridden by political appointees. In today’s revelations, the reviews also propose a return to the destructive competitive health model of the 1990s. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Cab Press Conference: Foreign Buyers Register, TPP And Serco

At a press conference today in Wellington, John Key discussed the foreign buyers register as well as the TPP and Serco. Key was questioned on whether a stamp tax might be used as a tool to deal with foreign buyers. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood Satire: Serco To Outsource Prison To Public Sector

In response to high-profile failings, multinational omnicorporation Serco will introduce public management in its prison system. Serco's New Zealand manager, speaking on condition of anonymity, has announced plans for managers from the Department of Corrections to run the Mt Eden Correctional Facility. More>>

National Party Conference: Plans To Nudge Immigrants Towards Regions

The Government will introduce a package of immigration measures aimed at improving the spread of workers, skills and investment across New Zealand, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse says. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections: Serco Relieved Of Control At Mt Eden Prison, Retains Contract

Multi-national private prison operator Serco has been forced to hand back control of Auckland's Mt Eden remand prison to the Department of Corrections, which has used a 'step-in' clause in its contract with Serco following a string of increasingly serious allegations about contraband, prisoner injuries and a death. More>>

ALSO:

Other Experiments: Failing Charter School Stays Open 'For Kids'

Education Minister Hekia Parata says she has given Te Pumanawa o te Wairua in Northland a chance to continue operating because of her concerns about finding other educational opportunities for its students. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news