Essential HR

Let’s do this - what will Labour deliver in their first 100 days

We are now 30 days into the 100 day plan so I thought it was prudent to reflect on what Labour have achieved (employment relationship speaking) so far and what might the next 70 days uncover.

What has happened so far?

  • Minimum wage will increase to $16.50 an hour from the 01 April 2018.
  • Parental Leave entitlements will be extended from the current entitlement of 18 weeks to 22 weeks from 1 July 2018 and there is a commitment to increase it to 26 weeks from 1 July 2020.

What is in the pipeline for the next 70 days?

  • Equal Pay will be a hot topic (now and for the remainder of Labour’s term). Labour intends to introduce Fair Pay Agreements that set fair, basic employment conditions across industry. But for the moment the Bill drafted by National has been canned!  Let’s hope Labour take on board the many comments submitted on it, when drafting their own.
  • Trial Periods will be changed, dramatically. Labour see the current 90-day trial, or ‘fire at will’ law, as they refer to it, as being unfair. They say they will replace it with a fast, fair and simple system. But you can be sure it will be more difficult to terminate employment.
  • Labour Inspector numbers are set to double in Labour’s first term – this will be good, but see my comments on getting your records straight.
  • Reinstatement will be restored as the primary remedy when a worker has been unjustifiably dismissed.  Though why anyone would want to return to a job where the relationship has been so broken, I don’t know.
  • Rest Breaks will likely return to be prescriptive instead of being agreed to between the employer and employee as fair and reasonable.

We don’t know what the future holds; but we do know that under a Labour Government, the landscape that we operate under will change. While the above changes that were set to change under the “100 day plan” may not actually happen, they won’t be far away from taking shape in the New Year.

If you have any questions that you aren’t sure on regarding changes to legislation, please contact us.