Speaking up for you

Employment law

Government has proposed changes to employment law in NZ.

The Government has proposed several changes to employment legislation, including an increase in sick leave entitlements; a new Public Holiday; and a move to 1970s-style “Fair Pay” collective bargaining.  While these employment law moves may be well-intentioned, they will have significant costs for employers and unforeseen consequences for employees. Plus, the further increase in Minimum Wage has put further pressure on margins.

Retail is not a highly profitable business: the average net margin in retail is just 3.6 per cent, and many business owners struggle to pay themselves the equivalent of the Minimum Wage. So, we are speaking up for retail business owners, regarding employment law changes.

Sick Leave: The Government plans to extend sick leave from five paid days a year to 10 days a year, for both part-time and full-time staff. Most employers are flexible and reasonable in cases of genuine sickness, and while most employees use their sick leave responsibly, a minority treat sick leave entitlements as extra holidays. So, we recommend that sick leave should be accrued, and entitlements pro-rated, just like annual leave.

Retail NZ thinks all employers should treat their employees fairly, but we are lobbying the Government and asking Ministers to reconsider aspects of the proposed new sick leave entitlement. We want to see business rules that encourage firms to hire staff; continue to offer a diversity of roles; and that don’t drive businesses to the wall.

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