Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors

All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker.

“The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a member’s bill in my name, is due to be considered in Parliament this evening. It protects New Zealanders who are paid less than the minimum wage on contract.

“It adopts protections found overseas, where minimum remuneration applies to both employees and contractors.

“All New Zealand workers deserve to be treated decently, and that includes minimum protections. Not enforcing the minimum wage undermines the good employers who do pay their workers properly.

“If passed the Bill will help people like contract cleaners who are currently falling through the cracks. Couriers, telemarketers and others who are contracted to do a large amount of work in limited time will also be protected.

“Those currently at risk are not employees, are not in unions, and are often the least powerful in society.

“Examples include a 60 year old subcontractor who didn’t have a written agreement. She was not paid properly for three months and had no rights as an employee because she was engaged as a contractor. Her only recourse was via the Disputes Tribunal. 

“This Bill does not fix the avoidance of holiday pay, or sick pay, or zero hour contracts, or unpaid long-term interns. But it will stop the minimum wage being avoided through contractual devices. 

“I hope MPs across Parliament will support this initiative,” says David Parker.