The Government is taking another step to build an inclusive and productive economy by restoring collective bargaining rights for screen sector workers and adopting the model unanimously put forward by the Film Industry Working Group, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway.
“To deliver good jobs, decent work conditions and fair wages, the Government believes all New Zealanders should have a voice in their workplace and be able to work together to negotiate their pay and conditions at work,” says Iain Lees-Galloway.
“Screen workers lost their right to support each other in negotiations through collective bargaining when the ‘Hobbit law’ was implemented by the National Government in 2010. When the Coalition Government got into office we brought together industry, business and worker representatives in the Film Industry Working Group to provide advice on a model that suits their sector that would protect screen workers’ rights.
“The Film Industry Working Group unanimously agreed on a model that means screen sector workers can continue as contractors, but will gain the right to negotiate collectively using good faith bargaining and a dispute resolution scheme. These are similar to the protections that employees enjoy, but most of our screen sector workers have missed out on for the last nine years.
“This model will deliver workplace rights to more workers than a straight repeal of the ‘Hobbit law’ would have. Instead we are ensuring more workers gain workplace protections, while providing certainty and flexibility for our internationally-competitive screen sector.
“This is a win-win solution that demonstrates the value of the Government’s collaborative approach to building a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy.”
The Government will now draft legislation, to be introduced later this year. The changes are expected to pass into law in mid-2020.
Iain Lees-Galloway says the Government has not accepted the working group’s recommendation that the ‘Hobbit law’ be expanded from film and video games to all screen production work as it would be a wide expansion of scope.
“The model will apply to screen production work such as on films, drama serials, commercials and video games. Its exact coverage will be determined during drafting in consultation with the industry.”