Supporting workers and valuing their contribution

  • increase sick leave for workers
  • increase wages and continue to improve pay equity
  • legislate and implement fair pay agreements
  • strengthen key employment legislation
  • protect vulnerable workers

Making sure working New Zealanders are safe, healthy and that their contribution to the economy is valued is at the heart of Labour’s Workplace Relations Policy.

“This is Labour demonstrating its commitment to helping working New Zealanders by increasing sick leave, raising wages, protecting them while they are at work, growing jobs and investing in the economy,” Workplace relations and Safety spokesperson Andrew Little says.

“Workers play a key role in getting our economy moving. We cannot grow successful businesses without a strong and thriving workforce. Labour’s economic plan is built around five key principles: investing in our people, growing jobs, preparing for the future, supporting our small businesses, and positioning New Zealand globally. By investing in our workers, we are supporting New Zealand families while continuing to boost businesses and our economy. 

“Managing COVID-19 has shown, more than ever, how important it is for workers to be able to stay home if they are sick. That’s why we are expanding sick leave entitlements from five days to ten days a year. This will mean people can stay at home if they are unwell and will also provide support and flexibility for working parents.

“It’s time to leave behind New Zealand’s low wage culture. That’s why Labour will continue to lift the minimum wage, as well as implement Fair Pay Agreements. A race to the bottom on wages comes at the cost of our most vulnerable workers and undermines our productivity. Investing in our people needs to be a key part of our economic recovery from COVID-19. “We want a productive and highly skilled workforce where everyone shares in the benefits of economic growth,” Andrew Little said.

Other key provisions are:

  • Recognising security guards as vulnerable workers to ensure their terms and conditions are protected
  • Ensuring that Seafarer Welfare Centres provide better services
  • Raising the age for workers to be allowed to perform hazardous work, and ensure all workers have the right to elect health and safety representatives
  • Strengthening the Employment Relations Act to make it harder for collective agreements to be undermined


Fact sheet