Fair Pay Agreements

What will they mean for New Zealand businesses?

The Government has announced its long-promised plan to introduce a mandatory, sector-wide collective bargaining regime in the form of Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs).  This represents the most significant overhaul of the country’s employment and industrial relations framework in over three decades. It’s also one of the largest structural changes - in any field - that the Government has made this term. 

Unsurprisingly, there has been a strong and swift response from New Zealand’s business community.  A number of industry bodies have criticised the potential negative impact such a change could have on small to medium-sized businesses which account for the vast majority of all businesses in New Zealand. Also, some political commentators have decried the influential role that unions will have in the new system.

So what will FPAs mean for your business? It’s important that you understand the proposed system as well as the potential challenges and also have your say.

How will FPAs work?

How will your business be impacted?

At a high-level, the introduction of the FPA system will force SMEs, many of which have never been around a bargaining table before, to be involved in the industrial relations process.  For many owners and operators, it may be quite confronting to have unions visit their businesses and seek access to their workplace and workers for the first time.  Many businesses could feel disengaged from the process and unsure how to have their say in a decision that has the potential to significantly impact them and their most important asset, their people.  Further, for many employers, the new system could have considerable impact on their bottom line, in terms of both increased compliance and direct employee costs.

 

How can PwC help?

PwC’s Employment Advisory team helps employers navigate the complexities and opportunities of managing their most important asset - their people. Our multidisciplinary team of legal, consulting and tax specialists, can deliver a complete solution for all people-related issues. This makes us uniquely placed to assist organisations to navigate the new FPA system. We’re also here to help businesses with matters such as remote working practices, policy development, as well as tax, legal and immigration issues.

Contact us

Chris Baldock

Chris Baldock

Partner, Employment Law, PwC Legal

Tel: +64 21 474 321

Phil Fisher

Phil Fisher

Partner, Financial Advisory Services, PwC New Zealand

Claire Barclay

Claire Barclay

Partner, Consulting, PwC New Zealand

Tel: +64 22 027 5493

Chris Place

Chris Place

Partner, Workforce Reward Services, PwC New Zealand

Tel: +64 21 221 6187

Vaughan Harrison

Vaughan Harrison

Partner, Risk Services, PwC New Zealand

Tel: +64 27 511 6563

Josie Goddard

Josie Goddard

Senior Manager, Financial Advisory, PwC New Zealand

Tel: +64 22 639 3052

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