In the past three years, the government of NZ has made numerous changes that will be incorporated from 2021. As employment laws are constantly changing, there is a great need to effectively adapt to all these changes. With the end of the 2020 election in New Zealand, the government has already announced the legislature to increase the sick leave privilege. The labor government of NZ has prepared a detailed report of changes to be introduced in the employment law.
The revisions to the labor laws aim to enhance the NZ citizens’ condition, comprising indigenous and migrant populations. The government has declared that the indigenous population is its priority. Since a significant portion of the indigenous population lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government wishes to restore them to the country’s professional ecosystem.
Another motivation for introducing the reforms is establishing the country’s image as an oft-preferred nation for immigration. The labor reforms aim to cut down the migrant laborer exploitation at workplaces and ensure a fair wage. They are also aimed at improving the working conditions for the migrant laborers in NZ.
The following Employment Law reforms will preserve NZ’s image as a nation that has guaranteed its citizens’ well-being. Let’s take a look.
The country noticed an overall increase in the minimum wage to $18.90 in the first term, but the government has decided to increase the wages to $20 per hour from 2021. Although a timeframe specification is not mentioned, this change is likely to come into force from April 1, 2021.
Based on the New Zealand Family Centre Social Policy Unit’s annual calculation, the NZ government has decided to increase the living wage and the minimum wages of the workers. This will reflect the worker’s overall expense to survive food, shelter, transportation, and childcare facilities. Presently the living wage is fixed at $22.10 per hour. A formal renewal of a new living wage contract will be needed when the previous contract ends. The following agencies will be entitled to add payments of the living wage in the new agreement during the time of renewal and renegotiations.
An employee is entitled and ideally suited to avail sick leave of 5 days in a year after the completion of the first six months in the company. The majority of the workers have different amendments and privileges in their employment deeds.
According to the Holidays (Increasing Sick Leave) Amendment Bill 2020, there will be an increase of minimum sick leave up to 10 days annually. However, the maximum entitlement of any unused sick leave will only be 20 days annually. Based on the public review and discussion, the bill is expected to pass in mid-2021.
Accrual basis will permit employees to avail sick leaves before completing six months of employment term in any company. Similarly, a worker will be entitled to enjoy the annual holidays before terminating the employment anniversary in an organization.
Employees will be able to take bereavement and family violence leave as and when required, irrespective of whether they have completed a six-month period or not.
Providing safety to dependent contractors has also been added in the NZ new employment reforms 2021. Based on this rule, the dependent contractors have the right to bargain cooperatively. Various organizations need to take immediate steps to ensure that contracted laborers are independent contractors. These steps are as follows.
The NZ government had made specific changes in the Equal Pay Act 1972. These changes are as follows.
This agreement allows a minimum set of rules and conditions for all the workers across any business or occupation. These conditions were already adopted by many countries such as Australia and other overseas ten years ago. Key points included in the fair pay agreement include:
Apart from those mentioned above, the government has also introduced more Employment law revisions.
With the latest introductions of employment law reforms in the country, NZ is set to usher in a new prosperity state. The government aims to highlight its importance in the world map as a nation that has sought to protect its indigenous and migrant population and nullify workplace exploitation or any factor that tampers with productivity and the employees’ well-being.