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

Greens: Russel Norman To Stand Down As Co-Leader

Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party’s Annual General Meeting in May. Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM.

“After nearly a decade as Co-leader, now is a good time to find a new challenge for myself, and to spend more time with my family” said Dr Norman.

“This is my ninth year as Co-leader and I think it’s time for a change. Now is a good time for new leadership for the Party. My replacement will start from a strengthened base and will have a full parliamentary term to establish himself in the role and take the Greens into government in 2017." More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point… More>>

ALSO:

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news