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Source: EMA

Members of the BusinessNZ Network, New Zealand’s largest employer member’s group, will make their resources available to employers who may get caught up in the Fair Pay Agreements legislation being introduced to law on December 1.
The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association ( EMA), Business Central, Canterbury Employers’ and Chamber of Commerce ( The Canterbury Chamber), Business South and BusinessNZ opposed and will continue to oppose the compulsory, centralised wage bargaining system being introduced by the Government.
However, EMA Chief Executive, Brett O’Riley, says the EMA must also put the interests of its members first, and would now engage with the legislation in order to assist its business members.
“The BusinessNZ Network’s members employ 65-70 per cent of the country’s workforce so we feel we must add our significant resources to help employers who will be affected by this legislation. We have experienced legal and consulting teams who will provide their considerable expertise in centralised bargaining to our members in dealing with FPAs.
“Also, with the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) having the power to set the terms of an FPA if no employer is available, we feel we need to step back into this mess. The ERA consistently finds in favour of employees in more than 70 per cent of hearings, so employers will have little faith in the ERA bargaining also from their corner.”
Mr O’Riley says they foresaw nothing but problems with the vaguely written legislation, with legal challenges and delays likely while definitions of terms were thrashed out.
“We have also been told the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations will revisit this legislation at its next meeting in December 2022, now that it has been enacted and is coming into law on December 1.”
“MBIE is still writing the regulations to support the legislation and their remains no process for confirming the initiation of these agreements or bringing together a bargaining party. Definitions, such as who makes up a sector group, are vague and there are privacy issues concerns as well,” he says.
“The message to members is there is plenty of time to engage, nothing is likely to happen until next year, and we have the resources to help.”
About the EMA:
The EMA is New Zealand ’ s largest business service organisation dedicated to helping people and businesses succeed and grow. It offers advice, learning, advocacy, and support for more than 7,100 businesses as members. The EMA is part of the BusinessNZ Networkand its territory spans the upper North Island. The EMA also offers many of its services nationally to member businesses, and through its partners.