Fair Pay Bargaining - First applications are underway

Ahead of elections 2023 we have seen the initiation of a number of fair pay bargaining applications.  The application for bus transport is now at the bargaining stage.  The applications for hospitality, grocery supermarket, security officers and guards, cleaners and Early Childhood Education have received approval for bargaining to be initiated.  This means that the bargaining sides are being formed so bargaining can commence.

Fair pay agreements that achieve ratification and enforcement will set minimum standards for wages and conditions such as training and development and how much leave an employee can have across the specified industry or occupation.   

Even if your sector is not affected yet you are encouraged to keep an eye on progress so you can assess any considerations for your attraction and retention strategies

Your Responsibilities as an Employer if your sector or roles in your business/organisation are covered by an application

Your first responsibility is notifying your employees about the application that covers their role to get consent to release their details.  After that your responsibilities include putting in systems for new starters to get their consent so you can share their details, making sure you are providing details to the bargaining union/s in the required timescales, allowing unions access to the workplace, and paying employees for attending approved meetings related to bargaining. Non-compliance with the requirements could lead to penalties by the Employment Relations Authority so our recommendation is to make sure you keep up to date with requirements and be putting processes into place.  

Your Rights as an Employer

As an employer you also have the right to be kept informed about the bargaining progress and be provided an opportunity to vote on proposed terms and conditions when bargaining reaches this stage. This allows you to have a say in the final outcome and ensures that your interests are represented.

Navigating fair pay bargaining is a new process for New Zealand.  If you need any help with what your responsibilities are get in touch with a member of the Grow HR team.  MBIE is publishing information as it becomes available.  Current information can be found via these links;

What to take notice of if your industry or roles are not yet covered

Even if your industry or roles are not currently covered by a fair pay bargaining application, it is important to stay informed about developments in this area. Fair pay agreements have the potential to affect market pay and turnover if employees can get better terms elsewhere. By keeping an eye on these developments, you can proactively address any changes that may arise.