May 31, 2022
New Zealand is now on a short list of 22 countries accused of breaches of international law.
The International Labour Organisation has determined that New Zealand has a case to answer, and has invited the New Zealand Government to supply information to the ILO Committee on the Application of Standards at the ILO’s 110 th formal session in Geneva next week on New Zealand’s proposed Fair Pay Agreements policy.
Along with 21 other countries accused of labour breaches including discrimination, forced labour and child labour, New Zealand is deemed to have a case to answer regarding its intention to breach a fundamental labour convention which protects freedom of association.
This follows 449 alleged breaches globally that were referred to the ILO by member nations in 2022 for consideration by a tripartite panel of business, union and Government representatives.
BusinessNZ says New Zealand’s Fair Pay Agreements policy contravenes ILO Convention 98 by constituting an ‘act of interference’ in the affairs of workers and employers.
Businesses believe the compulsory nature of the Fair Pay Agreements policy constitutes interference and are also concerned at other sections of the policy which would limit the freedoms of workers and employers, BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope says.
"This case has been raised with the ILO because of concerns that the Fair Pay Agreements policy would remove rights and freedoms from workplaces in New Zealand," Mr Hope said.