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Industrial Relations Policy Summary

Denise Roche MP
Denise Roche MP
denise [dot] roche [at] parliament [dot] govt [dot] nz (Email)

Read the full Industrial Relations Policy

Industrial law needs to protect workers bargaining rights, ensure workplace safety, and guarantee an adequate income.

The minimum wage should be increased to 66% of the average wage.

The Employment Relations Act should be reviewed to enable multi-employer collective bargaining and the right to strike on social issues.

A Pay and Employment Equity Commission needs to be established, and legislation passed, to reduce inequalities based on gender, ethnicity and disability.

Key Principles

  • Pay and employment equity for all workers, including Maori.
  • Workers, employers and unions all involved in decision-making about the workplace.
  • Workplace democracy and collective organisation are essential to address the inherent potential for inequality of power between employers and employees.
  • Workers need protection under the law and should be paid a living wage.
  • Workplaces that are safe, healthy and free from discrimination.

Specific Policy Points

Living Wage and Job Security

  • Increase the minimum wage and ensure it does not fall below 66% of the average wage.
  • Make the minimum wage the same for all workers, including youth and employed trainees.
  • Support workers' calls for fair wages.
  • Improve rights and protection for casual, seasonal, fixed term and temporary workers.

Work/Life Balance

  • Require employers to consider, in good faith, requests for flexible working arrangements from the parents of young children.

Industrial Democracy

  • Support a complete review of the Employments Relations Act.
  • Improve workplace democracy and improve workers' union representation and participation in the future of their work.
  • Implement international standards on the right to strike, worker accident compensation, pay equity and breastfeeding breaks.

Collective Organising and Bargaining

  • Support initiatives for multi-party bargaining, including multi-employer collective bargaining, and collective bargaining for contractors.
  • Support the right of unionised workers to prevent freeloading by non-union workers.

Pay and Employment Equity

  • Better access to information on employment rights for vulnerable workers.
  • Support equal pay for men and women workers for work of equal value.
  • Increase workplace access to subsidised early childhood and after school care.

Healthy and Safe Workplaces

  • Stronger laws for key health and safety areas including hazardous substances, harrassment, occupational cancer, pregnancy, lone working, stress.
  • Where employers are prosecuted and fined for breaches of workplace safety, a portion of the fine will be paid to workers injured as a result of the breach.

State Sector

Support a review of the State Sector Act and the Public Finance Act to provide greater collaboration across government agencies to:

  • Promote a strong public sector, operating as a single entity.
  • Lessen competition between departments.
  • Promote better employment practices.
  • Promote multi departmental collective bargaining of consistent wages & conditions for state sector workers.
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