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Better protections for contractors urgently needed say unions

Contractors deserve better protections. For thousands of people, the low pay and poor working conditions are a ‘bread and butter’ issue.

Unions are calling on the Government to continue demonstrating its commitment to protecting vulnerable contractors.

Today, the Government announced it would be deferring consultation around the distinction between contractors and employees.

NZCTU National Secretary Melissa Ansell-Bridges said the rights of contractors were a ‘bread and butter’ issue for thousands of workers.

“Many contractors in New Zealand end up earning well below the minimum wage. That is an unacceptable and untenable situation, especially in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis.”

E tū Assistant National Secretary Rachel Mackintoshsaid low-income workers would continue to be disproportionately impacted by the deferred consultation.

“Everyone deserves decent pay for decent work. Contractors, including those in cleaning and security, should not be earning less because of their employment situation.”

First Union General Secretary, Dennis Maga, said the Government has the ability to demonstrate leadership in the wake of the recent Employment Court ruling.

“Last year, we had a massive win for Uber drivers, who were recognised as employees, not contractors. This should be setting a precedent for all contractors, who are entitled to better pay and working conditions.”