National’s employment reform is causing the usual canned complaints. Â We have petitions, and threats, and bleating from the usual corners. Â National is stealing the tea break, didn’t you know?
Under the change, an employer would have to provide only “reasonable compensatory measures where an employee could not reasonably be provided with breaks”. That could be met by giving equivalent time off work.
Labour launched a petition against the move that drew 10,000 signatures in 24 hours. It hoped to boost that over Labour weekend.
Labour MP Andrew Little – who highlighted the law change during his first leadership pitch to party members – said it showed this was the most “niggardly and nasty” National Government there had been. “To begrudge anyone having a cuppa or a meal break during their working day goes against the grain. It’s a Kiwi tradition. Doing away with it is mean-spirited and unfair.”
Labour’s minority report from the select committee that considered the bill described it as a leap back to the failed 1990s model. They said it continued “the flawed logic” that employers, who already have control of their workplaces and an implied duty of employees to obey instructions, needed more statutory powers.
Healthy workplaces allow for flexibility. Â Like working through lunch so you can leave earlier that day to go do something. Â Or working through lunch for 4 days to take Friday afternoon off. Â This is something that any normal functioning company and its employees work out automatically. Â Everyone benefits. Â Read more »