New employment standards coming in

Govt moves to strengthen employment standards

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse today announced a package of measures to strengthen enforcement of minimum employment standards.

“Employers are the backbone of our economy and most do a great job in meeting their employment obligations, but there are a number of serious breaches occurring,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“Those who breach minimum employment standards have an unfair advantage over law abiding employers and it is unfair on employees who work hard to support their families.
 
“Stronger sanctions for serious breaches will send the message that this type of conduct is unacceptable. The package targets the worst transgressions of employers without imposing unnecessary compliance costs on employers in general.”

Key changes include tougher sanctions, increased tools for labour inspectors and clearer record keeping requirements.

“The changes mean a more robust employment standards system where all businesses are operating on a level playing field. This is essential for business growth and means any anti-competitive behaviour that occurs when employers breach minimum employment standards is detected and sanctioned.

“The Government is particularly concerned about the exploitation of our most vulnerable workers such as migrant workers.

“These changes deliver on our commitment to strengthen the enforcement of minimum employment standards and help ensure vulnerable workers receive their minimum employment entitlements.”

The key changes will be reflected in an Employment Standards Bill to be introduced to Parliament around the middle of this year.

A summary of the changes is available here: http://dol.govt.nz/er/services/law/legislationreviews/employmentstandards.asp

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