New Zealand Labour Party

Labour will back fair pay and conditions

Before I came to Parliament, I was a union lawyer, then a union leader. It was my job to make sure people were treated with fairness and dignity at work, and that employers lived up to their obligations to treat their workers well.

Everything we did at the union was about making sure New Zealanders and their families had opportunities and were able to get ahead. And that’s what Labour is about, too.

Right now, we know that working people aren’t getting their fair share of New Zealand’s wealth.

We also know that good employers who pay their employees well and offer good working conditions are being undermined by a small number of bad employers who don’t treat their employees the same way.

That just isn’t right. And that’s why today I was proud to announce that Labour will deliver a fair deal for working people and for good employers.

Labour will boost the minimum wage to $16.50 and make sure that when it’s raised in the future, the increase is based on the real cost of living for people who are on low incomes.

We’ll replace National’s ‘fire at will’ with trial periods that include protection against unfair dismissal and a fast, fair, and simple referee process.

We’ll work with businesses and unions to implement Fair Pay Agreements which will lay out basic pay and working conditions in an industry.

We’ll ensure all core public service employees are paid at least the Living Wage, because the Government should set an example as a good employer.

We’ll double the number of Labour Inspectors so working people and good employers can have confidence that bad employers won’t be able to exploit workers.

These are sensible changes that will help to boost incomes and support employers who offer good pay and conditions.

After nine years of a Government that has put profit ahead of a fair deal for working people, it’s time for a fresh approach. This is the right thing to do, and I’m proud that Labour will do it.

You can read our full fact sheet here.