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Fair Pay Agreements Update – This Probably Affects You!

If you have employees who are commercial cleaners, security officers, work in early childhood education, the grocery supermarket industry, bus transport or in hospitality related roles, then this article is an essential read.

Each of these roles and sectors have been approved by the Chief Executive of MBIE for a Fair Pay Agreement (FPA) to be negotiated.

In brief a FPA is an employment agreement between a union/s and employer groups for a particular occupation or industry which sets minimum terms for employees. Every employee in New Zealand, whether a union member or not, in that occupation or sector will be covered by the FPA and must receive the terms that are agreed. These agreements are required by legislation to set standard hours, minimum pay rates including overtime rates and penal rates, training and development, and how much leave an employee can have.  For a more in-depth recap on what a Fair Pay Agreement entails, read our previous article on this and join us at our upcoming webinar to find out about the implications and your obligations as an employer.

Once a union has approval to initiate an FPA they must do their best to notify employers who are likely to be covered by the FPA of this. In this notification the union will also provide some information that the employer is required to pass on to their employees. This will include that employee details will be sent to the union by the employer unless the employee specifically advises their employer in writing, that they do not want their details to be provided.

If an employer isn’t contacted by the union but they have employees likely to be covered by the FPA, the employer is still obliged to advise their employees of the approval to negotiate a FPA (plus some other information), and to send employee contact details to the union. The employer is obliged to do this as soon as possible and no later than 30 days after notification from the union or when they become aware of the approval from another source, such as reading this article.

This is just one step in this process. There are many more employer obligations and implications and employer bargaining parties to form and be approved (only a few have been approved so far). There is still a long way to go before a FPA in any sector is likely to come to fruition.

If you think your employees may be covered by an approved initiation and are unsure what to do next, please contact our lead Consultant on FPAs, Kay Chapman ([email protected])



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