Employment law alert - Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson outlines employment relations priorities
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The key proposals include amendments to the Minimum Wage Act and Employment Relations Act to provide for:
- Introduction of a Starting Out Wage set at 80% of the adult minimum wage which is open to certain eligible youth employees between the ages of 16 and 19
- Extension of flexible working arrangements from carers to a wider range of employees
- Removal of the current requirement to conclude collective bargaining
- Removal of the '30 day rule', which requires employers to offer the terms of any applicable collective agreement to a new employee for the first 30 days of employment
- Allowing employers to opt out of negotiations for a multi-employer collective agreement (MECA)
- Allowing partial pay reductions for partial strikes and other low-level industrial action.
Other matters foreshadowed include:
- Strengthening immigration approval processes and Codes of Practice relating to labour foreign charter vessels
- Improving health and safety in the employment relations environment with the launch of a national action plan for manufacturing, and further development of plans for agriculture and fishing.
The full Beehive press release can be viewed here.
This update has been prepared for information purposes only and not as legal advice. For further information, please contact Peter Chemis, Hamish Kynaston, Kerry Smith, Sherridan Cook, Alastair Sherriff, Susan Rowe, Andrea Pazin, Joss Opie, Jackie Behrnes or Nicola Ridder.