26 Oct 2022

Fair Pay Agreements Bill passes third reading in Parliament

7:28 pm on 26 October 2022
Businessman in the supermarket at inventory with checklist in the vegetable department

The government says the bill has the potential to improve the lives of working New Zealanders. Photo: 123F

Legislation setting up a legal framework for collective bargaining across entire industries is set to become law.

The Fair Pay Agreements Bill has passed its third reading in Parliament, with the support of Labour, the Greens and Te Pāti Māori.

The bill provides a framework for collective bargaining across occupations - like cleaners, supermarket workers and security guards - rather than just between unions and employers.

Negotiations with employers could be initiated by 1000 employees or 10 percent of the workers under the proposed coverage.

Once that happens, a union representing workers in that industry would be tasked with taking on negotiations and employers would be represented by a business interest group.

If an agreement was reached, the proposal would need the support of the majority of employee and employer voters to be ratified.

And if parties could not agree after two rounds of negotiating, the Employment Relations Authority would step in.

Workplace Relations Minister Michael Wood told the House the bill represented the most basic and long-standing kiwi values.

The National Party said it would repeal the bill if elected next year.

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