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:

Werewolf: The Defence Pretence

Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news