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

 


Don’t scrap accommodation requirements for farm workers

Don’t scrap accommodation requirements for agricultural workers


Regulations setting minimum accommodation standards for agricultural workers should not be scrapped when the new Health and Safety at Work Act is in place says Multicultural New Zealand.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has proposed deleting the regulations in a discussion document on which it is seeking public submissions.

Under the present regulations employers must ensure that accommodation provided to agricultural employees is made of permanent materials, is maintained in good order and condition, and contains or has access to facilities for such things as cooking, drinking, washing and toileting.

In the discussion document MBIE proposes that there be no specific regulation relating to agricultural accommodation “as the proposed new Act requires a person conducting a business or undertaking to ensure that any accommodation provided to a worker as part of their job does not expose the worker to a risk to their health and safety”.

Multicultural New Zealand strongly urges that specific provisions relating to accommodation for agricultural workers be retained.

There has been a significant increase in the number of migrant workers in agriculture in recent years, particularly in dairying, and the isolation of such workers and their lack of knowledge of basic minimum protections in New Zealand make it all the more necessary to ensure that requirements on employers are specific and clear. A recent report by the Ministry’s labour inspectorate indicated a high level of non-compliance in this sector, with 31 of 44 farms being in breach of minimum employment standards. More enforcement is required rather than less regulation.

We note the comment made by the President of the NZ Council of Trade Unions, Helen Kelly, on 26 June 2014 to the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee considering the Health and Safety at Work Bill: “We are very aware of the increasing use of migrant farm workers and how vulnerable they are to exploitation on short term work arrangements. Farm workers deserve some standards in accommodation provision.” (http://union.org.nz/news/2014/ctu-tells-select-committee-workplaces-must-be-made-safer).

We also note that the accommodation standards for RSE workers in horticulture and viticulture rely in part on the current regulations on accommodation of workers in agriculture.

In the interests of the health and safety of migrant workers these regulations should be retained following passage of the new Health and Safety at Work Bill.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news