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International Workers Day, May Day; outlook improving for working Kiwis

May 1 is International Workers Day and on May 6 a number of significant employment law changes will come into effect making life better for working New Zealanders.

“These changes are happening because people have come together, they have, in union, campaigned for better employment law. These wins benefit all working Kiwis and are testament to the power of collectivism and the importance of unity,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.

“The reinstatement of the right to meal and rest breaks is something so important. It is something which has a positive impact on people’s health at work. We know that many employers maintained meal and rest breaks when the National government removed the entitlement over four years. Unfortunately some employers removed this basic right. They will now need to.”

“Good employers have never used trial periods. The fact that they are now a thing of the past, for workplaces of 20 staff or more, is a great thing. The next step is to give all working Kiwis more stability with the removal of trial periods entirely regardless of the size of the workplace.”

“Being able to see in writing what your employment conditions are is so important to working people. It provides certainty and transparency. From May 6 labour inspectors will be able to issue immediate fines of $1,000 where an written employment agreement is not in existence.”

“There is certainly more work which needs to be done including the introduction of Fair Pay Agreements. This May Day we’re celebrating the successes working people are having with improvements to their working lives,” Wagstaff said.

For more information about the employment law changes –