National | Ministry of Economic Development

Positive changes to employment law for Kiwi workers

All working New Zealanders can look forward to more employment benefits due to significant changes in employment law as of May 6.  An advocate for employees who have been victims of unfair dismissals says the changes are overdue.

According to Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway, the key changes under the Employment Relations Amendment Act include:

  • reinstating prescribed meal and rest breaks.
  • strengthening collective bargaining and union rights.
  • restoring protections for vulnerable workers, such as those in the cleaning and catering industries, regardless of the size of their employer.
  • limiting 90-day trials to business with fewer than 20 employees.

E tū union president Muriel Tunoho says, "I think the changes are about re-balancing the removal of rights to workers and this is a good thing because what affects workers in the workplace also affects their whānau."

One former employee now feels she cannot disclose her medical information in the fear she may not be hired again.

Jasmin Allan of Whanganui says, "Three days after I told my boss I have epilepsy, he called me into his office and said I wasn't doing my job properly, it wasn't right for me.  'Sorry, but we have to let you go'.  I had nothing behind me to help me take them for unfair dismissal because, as they said, it was my word against theirs."

Tunoho believes the changes will make workers and their families will feel more secure.

For more info on all the employment law changes clink on the link. -