Protections for all contractors needed

The Ministry of Business Innovation andEmployment (MBIE) have released a discussion document entitled ‘ Betterprotections for contractors’. “Working people are pleased that theGovernment is taking active steps to address how independent contractors areprotected,” said CTU Secretary Melissa Ansell-Bridges.

“We encourage anyone who has worked, iscurrently working as a contractor, or who has a close personal connection tosomeone working as a contractor, to share their experiences with the decisionmakers. We know that people working as contractors are often extremelyvulnerable to the whim of their employer. All working people need to have somestability, some certainty to plan their lives.”

“Right now, there are a lot of people whoare working as contractors who should be treated as employees with all therights and benefits that brings. There are also some people who genuinely areindependent contractors who should have a way to improve their workingconditions.”

“The Government is making progress on thedevelopment of Fair Pay Agreements and we see that there is a critical placefor contractors within the FPA framework.”

“Contractors must not be treated as thepoor cousin of employees. Contract work will continue to exist and it will be afeature in the future of work.”

“Today we are Launching online tool forpeople to tell the Government what they think about the treatment ofcontractors. Have your say –“said Ansell-Bridges.

What is a contractor?

Contractors often do the same work as employees – sometimes contractors and employees work alongside each other. But contractors can be paid less, fired more easily and don’t receive holidays, sick leave or KiwiSaver contributions.

This kind of “dependent” contractingis happening to cleaners, security guards, food workers, couriers, drivers, ITworkers and many others.

Contractors can have their contract cancelledwith little or no notice (unlike employees) they find it harder to ask forbetter conditions.

/Public Release. View in full here.