Labour promises boost to minimum wage, living wage for public services
Labour is promising a living wage for the core public service, a boost to the minimum wage and an end to the 'fire-at-will law' as part its employment policy unveiled on Wednesday.
"After nine years of National, working people's share of the economy is falling," said Labour leader Andrew Little. "Less than 40 percent of economic growth under National has gone to working people through higher pay."
As part of its workplace relations package, the party will also double the number of labour inspectors, and introduce 'fair pay agreements' that will "lay out the basic pay and working conditions in an industry, and prevent a race to the bottom".
The living wage would initially apply to the core public service, and be extended to contractors over time. The minimum wage would rise to $16.50 per hour. Over time, Labour wants to minimum wage to be two-thirds of the average wage.
The party is addressing what it calls National's 'fire-at-will' law, and making changes to the current 90-day-trial period.
"Most employers use trial periods fairly, but National's fire-at-will law has encouraged abuse by a small number of employers," Mr Little said.
Labour would replace the law with trial periods that include better options for employees to act if they feel their dismissal is unjustified.