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

Open Source // Open Society - Full Coverage

War: What’s To Commemorate?

Gordon Campbell in Werewolf: It is easy to know what we don’t want to commemorate on Anzac Day this year...

In fact, is there anything that can be validly commemorated on this 100th anniversary of Gallipoli?

Beyond, that is, a fleeting sense of empathy with the thousands of soldiers killed or wounded on April 25 1915 and in the months thereafter, until the whole thing was finally called off in December 1915.

(Most of the New Zealand survivors were transferred to the trenches in France, and eventually to the battle of the Somme in 1916.) More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Battle Obama Is Waging Over The TPP

For the past two and a half years, this column has been arguing that the fate of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will hinge on whether US President Barack Obama can win Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from Congress... Last week, the White House finally, finally unveiled a draft TPA Bill. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Govt Breaks Free Doctors Visit Promise To Kids

Documents obtained by the Green Party show that the Government decided to fund only 90 percent of doctors’ visits for children suffering from an injury in an attempt trim the cost of the so-called “free” visits. More>>

ALSO:

Other Wars: Extension Of NZDF Commitment In Afghanistan

The New Zealand Defence Force’s commitment of mentors and support staff to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy in Afghanistan has been extended out to December 2016, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

PM's Press Conference: Auckland Property Prices Increasing "Too Rapidly"

John Key accepted that Auckland property prices 'are going up too rapidly” in a press conference held today in Wellington, however he said that this is not anything new. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: ANZAC PMs Concerned About ISIL Bringing The War Home

Prime Minister Key and Prime Minister Abbott spoke of the bond formed between Australia and New Zealand in the “baptism of fire” of Gallipoli. Abbott stated that New Zealand and Australia’s values and interests are linked, and this is reflected in the joint operation in Iraq which will begin shortly. More>>

ALSO:

GCSB's China Shopping: Key Damages China Relationship

Evidence that the Key Government recklessly approved a GCSB spying operation to intercept Chinese diplomatic communications between offices in Auckland will pointlessly damage our relationship with China, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Reserve Bank And Auckland Housing

The ‘crisis – what crisis?’ response by the government to the Auckland housing price bubble is no longer acceptable. So says Reserve Bank governor Grant Spencer... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news