What is the problem?
At their heart Fair Pay Agreements are about compulsion meaning working New Zealanders and their employers lose control over the way they work and the right to negotiate their own employment conditions. That’s definitely not fair.
Fair Pay Agreements will be applied to all employees in an industry not just those who are a member of a union, despite less than one in five New Zealand workers currently belonging to a union. If FPAs are forced on your industry you will not be able to opt out even if you want to.
For Fair Pay Agreements to go ahead, agreement is only needed from either 10% of the workforce, or 1000 employees (whichever number is smaller).
Under Fair Pay Agreements, employees right to negotiate their working conditions with their employer will be stripped away from them. Fair Payment Agreements create a ‘one size fits all’ system which takes away control from Kiwi workers and gives it to officials in Wellington who will decide how you work, when you work and how much you will get paid. These bureaucrats have no idea who you are, what your needs are and they’ll negotiate without your consent.
It’s 2022 and the workplace is embracing, and seeing the advantages of increased flexibility. The way we work has changed dramatically in the last two years, let alone in the six years since Fair Pay Agreements were first put on the table by the Government. Employers and employees need more flexibility and autonomy over the way they work, not less.
What is the Government doing?
Despite widespread opposition from business owners and employees, the Government is continuing to push forward with legislation to implement it.
On 5 April 2022, The Fair Pay Agreements Bill had its first reading in Parliament, and it has now been referred to Select Committee. During this process Kiwis will have the opportunity to have their views heard.
What is BusinessNZ doing?
In December last year BusinessNZ announced it refused to be part of the Government’s Fair Pay Agreements scheme.
Since their inception, BusinessNZ have told the Government that Fair Pay Agreements are fundamentally flawed.
We’re not prepared to take taxpayer money to run a scheme with unions that is unfair for Kiwis and doesn’t support modern, flexible ways of working.
We agree the current system needs to improve – but that is not by going backwards and introducing Fair Pay Agreements. A far better option is to identify sectors that are facing wage challenges and develop a targeted solution to fix the problems in those few sectors. This is about standing up for New Zealanders right to negotiate their own working conditions, not have them set for them in back rooms in Wellington.
Over the coming weeks, BusinessNZ will set out what an effective, smarter way looks like and how we can work together to genuinely improve conditions for working Kiwis and meet the needs of the workplace of the future.
What are Fair Pay Agreements?
A Fair Pay Agreement is a compulsory national legally binding agreement that sets out pay and working conditions between employers and employees across an entire industry or occupation.
FPAs could cover wages, hours of work, overtime, flexible working, redundancy compensation, provision of training or upskilling and leave entitlements.
How will the proposed Fair Pay agreement scheme affect me?
Under compulsory Fair Pay Agreements, New Zealand employees and employers will lose our ability choose and negotiate how we work, we will be locked into rigid conditions.
It’s simple - the flexibility we all now rightly expect in the way we work will be at risk under Fair Pay Agreements.
Find out more here.
What is Your work, your way?
Your work, your way is a campaign saying no to Fair Pay Agreements, as they aren’t fair, and they take away the right for Kiwis to negotiate the way that we work.
This is about standing up for your choice to negotiate working conditions that suit both you and your employer. It’s about flexibility. It’s about working smarter and in a way that suits you.
We urge all Kiwis to join our campaign rejecting FPAs and calling for a smarter way of working.
What is BusinessNZ proposing?
BusinessNZ has formally declined the Government’s request to coordinate the scheme on behalf of employers and has turned down the associated offer of $250,000 in funding.
The good news is we now have a chance to re-set and strengthen the current system to help us move forward.
MBIE has said the focus should be on strengthening the existing system where it will make a real difference to protect those who need it – not rush through a flawed model that takes away everyone’s right to flexibility.
We will be releasing a roadmap outlining smarter way in the coming weeks.
What can I do to show my support for your work your way?
We urge all Kiwis to join our campaign rejecting FPAs and calling for a smarter way of working – your work, your way.
Stand up for your choice to negotiate working conditions that suit both you and your employer. It’s about flexibility. It’s about working smarter and in a way that suits you.
Who is Business NZ?
BusinessNZ is New Zealand’s voice of business advocating for enterprise and promoting the voice of thousands of businesses across New Zealand. The BusinessNZ family represents XX businesses and XX employees across New Zealand.
The BusinessNZ Network membership covers the entire country through the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA), Business Central, Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce (CECC) and Otago-Southland Employers' Association (OSEA).