27 Oct 2009

Legislation changing break laws for workers tabled

7:17 pm on 27 October 2009

The Government has tabled legislation which changes the law guaranteeing workers rest and meal breaks.

The amendment to the Employment Relations Act, passed last year under the previous Labour-led government, came into force in April this year.

The Minister of Labour, Kate Wilkinson, says the new bill moves the focus from prescription to flexibility and encourages both employers and staff to negotiate in good faith about breaks.

Ms Wilkinson says the bill still requires meal breaks and paid rest breaks to be provided.

However, she says there will now be the added provision for compensatory measures such as later start or earlier finish times, or time off in lieu.