Posted on: Nov 04, 2014
Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse has welcomed the passage of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill through Parliament.
“The Government campaigned on our commitment to continue to improve employment law, particularly in relation to fairness, flexibility and choice in the labour market,” Mr Woodhouse says.
“The passing of this Bill delivers on that commitment and will improve New Zealand’s employment relations framework by creating a fair and more flexible system for both employers and employees.
“It will help to build sustained economic growth through a more responsive labour market, while providing certainty for employers and employees around workplace rights and obligations.”
Among other changes, the Bill increases choice and flexibility in collective bargaining, with the Employment Relations Authority now able to declare whether collective bargaining has concluded.
“It extends the right to request flexible working arrangements to all workers, not just caregivers, and these requests can now be made from the first day of employment.
“Rest and meal break provisions are now more flexible, with the Bill enabling employers and employees to agree to the timing and duration of rest and meal breaks.”
The Bill also makes changes to the continuity of employment provisions, known as Pt 6A in the Act, for more vulnerable sectors of workers such as cleaners.
“Flexible and balanced employment relations legislation is essential for business to grow while ensuring protections for workers are retained.
“This Bill strikes the right balance to promote business growth while also retaining protections for workers.”
For more information visit www.dol.govt.nz
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