The Government will take time to consider the recommendations of the Fair Pay Agreement Working Group which reported back today, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway.
The Fair Pay Agreement Working Group, chaired by former Prime Minister Rt Hon Jim Bolger, comprised experts in economics, collective bargaining and employment law, along with representatives of workers and business.
“The Rt Hon Jim Bolger has reported back to me with detailed and valuable recommendations,” Iain Lees-Galloway said.
“I want to thank the Rt Hon Jim Bolger and his group of experts. It is clear they have developed their report with robust discussion, care and consideration.
“The Government will now take its time to consider their recommendations and comments.
“The next phase of work will require detailed policy consideration and consultation and we’ll take the time to get it right.
“The Coalition Government has committed to improving incomes and working conditions for New Zealanders, focusing first on the wages and conditions of those who earn the least.
Fair Pay Agreements would set minimum standards to lift wages and conditions across an industry or occupation.
“Right now, employers who pay their staff a fair wage are being undercut by competitors paying below a fair rate. It’s a classic race to the bottom that’s damaging people’s prospects and holding many industries back.
“That’s why I directed the Fair Pay Agreement Working Group to recommend the scope and design of a system of bargaining that sets minimum terms and conditions of employment across industries or occupations.
“The model that the Working Group has proposed would facilitate conversations not only about fair wage rates but about training pathways and opportunities to increase productivity and profit.
“The Report outlines the challenges in making policy changes around fair pay. New Zealand is out of step with the OECD both in terms of income inequality, and productivity, with Kiwis working longer hours but producing less per hour worked than those in most OECD countries.
“If we’re going to build a modern and fairer New Zealand, we need a productive and sustainable economy that’s growing and working for all of us,” Iain Lees-Galloway said.