Nov 7, 2022

Parliament passes the Fair Pay Agreements Bill and Sector Agreements take effect

SECTOR AGREEMENTS AND THE NEW FAIR PAY AGREEMENTS BILL, HOW DO THESE AFFECT KIWI BUSINESSES?

Two key announcements this week from Immigration New Zealand.

Sector Agreements that we have discussed previously, are now in effect, impacting pay rates and visa durations for roles that fall under this scheme.

Not directly linked to Sector Agreements, but in relation to, is the passing of the Fair Pay Agreements Bill which will see collective, banded union activity targeting whole industries and occupations vs individual employers.

More on these updates below.

EMPLOYING STAFF UNDER THE NEW SECTOR AGREEMENTS

If you are paying staff on an AEWV, for a role that is covered by Sector Agreements, you have the following options:

If you pay median wage rates, your candidate can obtain a visa that is valid for up to three years and they will not be restricted by conditions within the Sector Agreement.

If you choose to pay below the median wage (which you are entitled to under this scheme) you need to ensure you meet the relevant payrate stipulated in the agreement. You also need to be aware of any subsequent visa duration restrictions. For example you can hire someone on a rate below the median wage but their visa may only be valid for a limited timeframe such as seven months vs three years.

Want to hear more on how Sector Agreements affect your industry?

Below are the industries covered under the agreements. Click on your industry for the relevant section of our latest webinar on Sector Agreements and how they affect New Zealand employers.

– Care workforce

– Construction and infrastructure

– Meat processing

– Seafood

– Seasonal snow and adventure tourism sectors

We can help you strategise your workforce planning. Get in touch.

THE FAIR PAY AGREEMENTS BILL

The Fair Pay Agreements Bill passed its third and final reading in Parliament last week and will become law from 1 December 2022. This will provide a framework for collective bargaining across entire industries or occupations, rather than just between unions and specific employers.

Unions will be rallying for improvements on workplace conditions so it is vital for employers to stay across this activity as it may result in workforce changes.

Roles likely to be targeted initially are:

  • Hospitality Workers
  • Early childcare centre workers
  • Cleaners
  • Bus drivers
  • Security guards
  • Supermarket workers
  • Forestry workers

Under the Fair Pay Agreements Bill, the threshold for union representation is only 10% representation of workers in a relevant sector. Unions may approach employers and visit workplaces, and employees should be given opportunity to join.

Any outcome or union negotiations would also likely affect immigration policy requirements, whether this be addition of roles to the Immigration Sector Agreements or affecting payrate requirements.

If you have questions regarding the above or simply wish to speak to one of our team, we are here to support you. Get in touch.

Author

Zinny Cheng
Corporate Services Manager – Visas
IAA License #201600617

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