Government / 27 October 2020
What can we expect, now the new Labour government has been confirmed? During the 2020 election campaign, the Labour Party made a number of policy related announcements in the areas of employment law, health and safety and immigration, which we outline below:
- Increase in the minimum wage to $20.00 per hour from 1 April 2021.
- Matariki as a public holiday from 2022.
- Increase sick leave entitlements from five days to 10 days within the first 100 days of being elected.
- Strengthen and simplify the Holidays Act 2003 including introducing legislation regarding leave calculations and in certain circumstances allowing employees to use leave (sick and annual) while it is still accruing.
- Implement a support package for businesses to encourage the hiring of at least 40,000 New Zealanders whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19 by a business subsidy and a ring-fenced fund to help unemployed people start their own businesses.
- Increase protection for vulnerable workers including amendments to contractor categories and extending protection to security guards.
- Extend the living wage to all contractors working in the public service including cleaners, caterers and security guards with the intention that this can be extended to the wider state service including DHB’s as COVID-19 recovery continues.
- Increase protection for collective bargaining.
- Implement Fair Pay Agreements.
- Continue to monitor, develop and update immigration policies as necessary while balancing the COVID-19 restrictions and our economy.
- From a health and safety perspective, increase the age of entry into hazardous work from 15 to 16 years old.
Message for Employers
If you have any queries about how the proposed policies may affect your business, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the team. For more detailed information about how these changes may be effected, join us at our next free seminar on ‘What’s on the Horizon, Post Election’. Registration details can be found here.
Disclaimer: We remind you that while this article provides commentary on employment law, health and safety and immigration topics, it should not be used as a substitute for legal or professional advice for specific situations. Please seek legal advice from your lawyer for any questions specific to your workplace.