New laws kick in today – this is what you need to know

Fairfax lists the new laws kicking in today and how you may, or may not, be affected:

Zero hour contracts, which meant no guaranteed hours for some workers, will become illegal.

The biggie is the Health and Safety at Work Act, which takes effect on Monday.

Health and safety you say? That’s my favourite subject!

Really? Wow. In that case, you will be interested to know Worksafe is more likely to prosecute employers as a result of the law. Workers will also have obligations though so everyone will need to be on top of what’s expected.

The new law requires employers to take “reasonably practicable” steps to manage health and safety risks at work. It also means company directors need to be more hands-on about health and safety and all businesses need make sure staff are well-involved in such things.

What about all this talk about schools having to ban kids from climbing trees because of the changes? 

It depends who you’re talking to.

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse says not only is it possible for kids to continue climbing tees but he “actively encourages” it. Both Worksafe and the Ministry of Education have provided advice to schools on what “reasonably practicable” steps means for them.

There are also big changes to welfare payments. Arts, travel and lifestyle blogger David Farrar outlines those:

Today is the 1st real increase in core benefit rates for 44 years.

This was not done by a left wing caring socialist government with huge surpluses.

It was done by a uncaring poor oppressing neoliberal National Government that is barely back into surplus.

Despite the date, this is not an April Fool’s joke.

The same uncaring poor oppressing neoliberal National Government has also today (on top of $25 a week extra for benefits):

  • Increased the childcare assistance rate from $4 to $5 an hour
  • Increased in-work tax credits for low income families
  • Increased paid parental leave to 18 weeks
  • Increased the minimum wage to $15.25 an hour – the highest in the world relative to the median wage
  • Increased superannuation payments by 2.7%
  • Abolished zero hour contracts

This hateful neoliberal Government must be destroyed comrades.

No doubt Martyn Bradbury will explain all this as the “horror” of a National government and mention some sleepy hobbits and the Eye of Mordor.


– Kiwiblog, Fairfax

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.