This submission is in response to the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment's (MBIE) Discussion Paper, Designing a Fair Pay Agreements System.
In making this submission, the authors have drawn on the research and recommendations in our July 2019 report, Work in Progress: Why Fair Pay Agreements would be bad for labour, and say despite the overwhelming evidence against FPAs, if the government nevertheless introduces a framework permitting FPAs, and if the FPAs are to have any legitimacy, they must:
- be introduced incrementally, targeting only industries where there is evidence of labour markets failing workers and employers. No such evidence has been presented either by the working group or MBIE to date.
- have a high level of worker and employer support.
- permit both workers and employers to opt-out of the process.
- be subject to rigorous ex-ante and ex-post market impact assessment.
FPAs constructed along these lines would be a very different solution than MBIE has been incubating for the past 10 months. But if the government discards the flexible labour market settings that have served New Zealand so well and presses ahead with its plans, the unions will have won, and the nation will have lost.
Download the PDF to read the full submission.