Fair Pay Agreements must be scrapped

The Government should ditch its Fair Pay Agreement policy following Business New Zealand’s refusal to be the Government’s preferred partner, National’s Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“National strongly opposes Labour’s plan to force mandatory national pay agreements on workers and businesses.

“The agreements would remove the flexibility and autonomy modern workplaces need to grow and flourish.

“Business New Zealand’s withdrawal lays bare the fact that the national industry awards would have to be imposed by force – denying workers and businesses the right to sort out pay and conditions for themselves.  

“Business New Zealand was supposed to be a “tripartite” partner providing guidance to employers to implement the agreements, and have wisely bowed out.

“Minister Wood cannot have it both ways. The Minister claimed Business New Zealand would help “coordinate” Fair Pay Agreements just six months ago, yet now he’s claiming they were just a minor aspect of the framework.

“It’s another blow to a policy that’s more about payback to the unions than anything else. 

“Flexible labour markets have been an essential element in New Zealand’s progress in the past 30 years. They have enabled consistent economic growth and job creation, which is the only sustainable way to increase living standards in the long-term. 

“Fair Pay Agreements will take us back to the failed policies of the past and should be scrapped.

“There should be a relentless focus on improving our productivity and lifting incomes. Unions now only represent 16 per cent of the private sector workforce – this is all about strengthening the role of unions.”