The Government last year announced a radical overhaul of New Zealand’s labour laws with a policy package that will take away the rights of individuals to negotiate terms, conditions, and rates with their employers. MBIE recommended less drastic courses of action and warned of ‘significant risks’ in pursing Free Pay Agreements.
Despite this, the Government have announced this week that the so-called ‘Fair’ Pay Agreements are coming…. And they are anything but fair!
Out of touch. Out of date. Fundamentally flawed. Call them what you want - they are nothing less than compulsory centralised wage control and a return to the days when unions controlled the workplace.
Small business owners across our district will lose the flexibility and autonomy to negotiate directly with their employees, and the ability to put in place arrangements that suit their own business and their employees.
As presented to Parliament this week, FPAs will impose the same rate of pay on ALL workers - regardless of their skills, experience, strengths, and productivity. Individual workers will no longer be able to negotiate with their employer for a rate of pay that rewards them for their efforts and experience, and employers won’t be able to negotiate with their employees to arrange working hours and conditions that meet the needs of their business.
And once FPAs are mandated for a sector, individual businesses won’t be able to opt out. A small business facing these extra costs may have no option but to lay off staff or, worse, shut up shop.
Fair Pay Agreements will seriously hurt the engine room of our economy – the hundreds of thousands of small businesses that have already endured the most horrendous few years.
National will strongly oppose this terrible, terrible Bill!
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