Business Central: Fair Pay Agreements would bring compulsion back to workplace negotiations

Photo TVNZ
Photo TVNZ

The Government’s desire to reintroduce compulsory workplace bargaining through Fair Pay Agreements is bad news for employees, employers and New Zealand’s economy as a whole, says the professional and business support services organisation Business Central.
“Whatever the Government’s intentions, compulsion will harm productivity growth at the very time our economy is already slowing,” says chief executive John Milford.
“The Government’s consultation paper, released today, is based on the flawed recommendations of the Fair Pay Agreements Working Group.
“This country has seen wages grow faster than inflation when economic growth is strong, but once again, this Government is spending considerable effort thinking about how to divide the pie rather than growing the pie.”
Milford says increasing productivity is New Zealand’s overarching challenge.
“This policy proposal works against that goal by taking away the rights of employees and employers to negotiate the most productive solution for their particular situation,” he says.
“The working conditions people in Whanganui want are not the same as those in Auckland, yet Fair Pay Agreements would impose a one-size-fits-all approach.
“We encourage the Government to focus instead on policies that enable and encourage economic growth, such as building core transport infrastructure, providing skills to those who missed out in school, and supporting exporters selling our goods overseas.”