Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

FPAs Have No Place In Modern Workplace - Canterbury Chamber

Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce (The Chamber) Chief Executive Leeann Watson says there is no place for Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs) in the modern workplace, following today’s announcement detailing the introduction of FPAs and a plan to implement them.

FPAs are single documents that set the terms of employment and conditions of work for all workers in a specific sector, industry or occupation. The Agreements are nation-wide and compulsory, and are set to be introduced next year, along with financial support for the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and BusinessNZ to coordinate them.

Ms Watson says the introduction of FPAs is "hugely problematic" for the business community.

"The introduction of FPAs really goes against the country’s progressive employment environment, effectively taking away the rights of employers to set their own wages, which will be hugely significant for the business community.

"We are a country of small businesses. FPAs would force payment of higher wages within sectors which could force some newer, smaller firms out of business, reducing competition, productivity and growth. It would also destroy contracting, as it would cover all contractors in a sector."

Ms Watson says the move does not reflect today’s modern workplace.

"Employee expectations have changed dramatically from when financial remuneration was the only benefit. While small businesses may not be able to compete with big business wages, they can compete in providing an attractive employment package through the ability to engage in meaningful work, flexible work environments and so on."

Ms Watson says even if there are only one or two FPAs in the first year, the potential impact goes well beyond that.

"With the introduction of FPAs, there could be a wage-price spiral, which we have seen in the past, when compulsory collective bargaining led to wage inflation and higher prices, and FPA settlements impacted other sectors, causing wage relativity pressures and increased prices. There is also the possibility of FPA claims spreading rapidly once enabling legislation is passed.

"Standardising conditions across industries and occupations, makes them less flexible, less resilient and ultimately less productive - which is not what our economy needs and especially not now given many businesses are facing the challenges of a Covid-19 environment as well.

"This really goes against everything we are trying to do for employment in this country, which is to create a progressive, enabling, supportive environment where businesses - and therefore their communities - are able to thrive."

Ms Watson says plans to introduce and implement FPAs should be ceased.

"While there has been significant engagement between the business community and the Government, this time the key problems raised have not been addressed, so we do not believe FPAs should be progressed at this time.

"We are calling for the Government not to implement any legislation or regulation with respect to FPAs or if it does implement FPAs that they should be voluntary and not compulsory. We look forward to continuing to engage with Government on this issue, including through the BusinessNZ Network."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 




REINZ May Data: House Price Rises Continue; Auckland Hits New Record Median Price Again

Median prices for residential property across New Zealand increased by 32.3% from $620,000 in May 2020 to $820,000 in May 2021, according to the latest data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), source of the most complete and accurate real estate data in New Zealand... More>>

Energy Resources Aotearoa: Doubling Of Coal Use Shows Need For Local Natural Gas

New figures showing a near doubling of coal-fired electricity generation highlight New Zealand’s energy shortage and the need for natural gas as a lower carbon alternative, according to Energy Resources Aotearoa... More>>


E Tu: ‘Sense Of Mourning’ As Norske Skog Mill Set To Close

Workers at Norske Skog’s Tasman Mill now know they’ll be losing their jobs in little over a month’s time.
On Wednesday afternoon, workers were told the mill will be stopping production from the end of June... More>>



Auction: 1.4 Million In Rare Vintage Watches, Gems, Jewels & Diamonds Go Under The Hammer At Webb’s

An auction event showcasing over 1.4 Million dollars in rare jewels, gems, diamonds and vintage watches is due to take place this Sunday by Auckland based auction house Webb’s... More>>

Catalist: NZ’s New SME Stock Exchange, Gets Licence To Go Public

New Zealand has a new stock exchange – designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to raise up to $20 million a year from the public.
Called Catalist, the exchange has already been successfully working the private investment sector.... More>>

E-Commerce: Over 40% Of Those Engaged In The Bitcoin Community Are Millennials

Bitcoin has emerged to be a popular topic among millennials with digital currency increasingly being viewed as a potential source of creating wealth through investments. The interest in bitcoin by millennials signals the role this age group plays in the possible realization of the digital currency’s mass adoption... More>>