Govt strains to get tea break law through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.

“National desperately wanted to pass its Employment Relations Amendment Bill this week. It hasn’t been able to do that and will now have to wait until Tuesday.

“At the same time a petition launched by Labour calling on the Government to dump changes to clause 44 - which would do away with minimum entitlements to smoko breaks for thousands of ordinary working Kiwis - has attracted 10,052 signatures in its first 24 hours.

“The Bill fundamentally changes the nature of many hard-won employee rights; it also does away with collective bargaining protections, makes vulnerable workers’ jobs even less secure and undermines the principles of good faith.

“To begrudge anyone having a cuppa or a meal break during their working day goes against the grain. It’s a Kiwi tradition. Doing away with it is mean-spirited and unfair,” Andrew Little said.

Labour’s petition is here:

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