web analytics

The next attack on working Kiwis

Written By: - Date published: 10:34 am, June 11th, 2010 - 15 comments
Categories: wages, workers' rights - Tags:

John Key once told us his goal for the division of wealth between working Kiwis and the owners of capital: “we would love to see wages drop” he told a businesswoman, unaware he was in the presence of the reporter.

Mission accomplished. After inflation, businesses spent 0.7% less on wages in the March 2008, a further 4.1% less this past March year, and will spend another 1.4% this coming year. Kiwi workers’ combined incomes will be $1.5 billion lower when Key leaves office than when he entered.

But the Nats aren’t done.

The next stage is to attack holidays.

Shift workers are set to get shafted. Darien Fenton has explained it succinctly:

All leave is allocated in hours instead of days, so for sick leave it’s 40 hours, not five working days per year.

So if someone who works 4 x 10 hour shifts per week takes 3 days sick leave, that’s 30 hours used up. That worker then only has 10 hours left – in other words, one day so that worker will lose 1 day of sick leave a year under this arrangement.

It gets worse if annual leave is calculated in the same way. Currently, annual leave is calculated at either the ordinary weekly wage, or the average earnings for previous 12 month period, whichever amount is greater. This is particularly important for workers who work shifts and for part-time and seasonal workers who work irregular hours.

Holidays calculated on the basis of hours will mean less than four weeks paid annual leave for many workers. Apparently, there’s going to be a whole new Holidays Act and goodness knows what other gems will be in it.

Another ‘gem’ will be introducing the ‘choice’ to sell one week’s annual leave to the boss. We know what kind of ‘choice’ this will be, the same ‘choice’ that workers get now when the new boss tells them their contract will have them on the 90 days, no rights period.

Forcing workers to sell back one week’s leave is attractive to employers. A full time worker goes from working 46 weeks a year (remember public holidays) to working 47, a 2.2% increase. But, as you know, a worker is paid for 52 weeks a year. So, an extra week’s wages will mean the boss pays 53 weeks rather than 52, a 1.9% increase. 2.2% more work-hours for 1.9% more cost, that’ll help the profit margin. For the worker, it means 2.2% more work for 1.9% more pay.

And, of course, the employer will just claw back the extra cost in the next wage round.

15 comments on “The next attack on working Kiwis”

  1. seth 1

    The reason less was spent on wages was because unemployment skyrocketed, thanks to the recession. Thats nothing to do with John Key, it has happened all over the world. Newsflash, if Labour won the last election, unemployment still would have skyrocketed.

    Extrapolating that to when he leaves office is pointless and an extremely simplistic view of what the economy will do in the next X years while Key is in power.

    I don’t see the point of this article at all. Whoop de whoop, we have high unemployment at the moment (but not relative to other economies).

    • Bright Red 1.1

      “Extrapolating that to when he leaves office is pointless and an extremely simplistic view of what the economy will do in the next X years while Key is in power.”

      seth. They’re treasury’s numbers for next year. Marty’s making a wee point.

      “The reason less was spent on wages was because unemployment skyrocketed, thanks to the recession. Thats nothing to do with John Key, it has happened all over the world. Newsflash, if Labour won the last election, unemployment still would have skyrocketed.”

      It’s not a necessary condition that wages fall in a recession. In fact, they didn’t fall during the recession, they’re falling now – after the recession is over. They’re falling because of high unemployment and anti-worker policies like fire at will and a low minimum wage.

      A government that doesn’t want wages to fall would have worked to keep unemployment down (like in Aussie) and wouldn’t have passed anti worker policies.

    • infused 1.2

      Marty G wrote it. Could you expect anything less? I really don’t think he has a clue. When talking about selling a week of annual leave

      • infused 1.2.1

        Helped if I finished that. I was going to say, quite a few people I know would love to sell their Annual leave.

        • the pinkpostman 1.2.1.1

          Only because under the Nats wages go down ,jobs become hard to find and Unions get shafted by unscrupulous employers.
          Workers should have more time off especially manual workers.
          Also under all Right -Wing governments accidents at work are more common. the cause, cut backs to safety rules , fear of job lose and once again lack of union presence. If wages were better then working people would not have (sic) to sell their badly needed holidays.
          Alright for some employers to sit on their fat arses and tell workers not to have time off,they dont go home tired,Unless they have drunk too much to drink at lunch,

      • Bright Red 1.2.2

        what’s the problem, infused?

        you work increases more than your pay does if you sell a week back.

  2. roger nome 2

    Yeah – best to leave the partisan statistical obfuscation to Farrar i reckon.

  3. roger nome 3

    That’s beleivable infused, but it’s also beleivable that many workers will take an extra week for fear of being passed over for promotion, extra hours, or re-hiring.

    IMO four weeks of holliday every year isn’t very much for a full-time worker, and we should be able to enjoy that free of the concerns listed above.

  4. Jim Nald 4

    Indeed, the Right wreckers are well on track to make things worse off for working NZers.

  5. Lanthanide 5

    Labour’s response should be to increase the holiday entitlement to 5 weeks, with 1 week being able to be sold 🙂

    • Lets just leave it to the five weeks Lanthanid .If the majority of employers paid decent wages families would be able to spend more time together,result less anger in the home , less crime, and very likely less mothers having to go solo . The wages paid to some workers are a disgrace.
      nothing to do with employers profit the worst payers for the longest hours are mainly farmers .And they have ben coining it in for years,

  6. tc 6

    No surprises here with a National gov’t……the recession gets worse for all but the top end of town and their budget wealth shuffle is months away from kicking in yet…….it would be an f’n disgrace if it wasn’t so predictable from the party with no plan except pillage assets, bash benes/workers, cut education/R&D/health etc……it’s never worked before but hey the PM made a funny so it’s all OK according to the msm……who are the real disgrace in NZ.

  7. TightyRighty 7

    I checked the figures, from an employees point of view, and I think you’re wrong marty. if you work an extra week, you get paid twice for it? so your average weekly wage goes up by $17, if you are on 40K a year. now forgive me for being dense, but say in an instance that you had more annual leave than you were able to take in a particular year? wouldn’t you like the option to sell that 4th week to your employer? I know it’s a rare occurence, but if it happened to me, i would like the option to choose for myself.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      A lot of companies have policies where accumulation of annual leave to certain levels results in 1 of 3 things:
      1. Forced to take the annual leave
      2. Leave is forfeited
      3. Leave is paid out in $

      So for some people this new law isn’t going to give them any new option that wouldn’t have happened anyway (depending on their employer).

  8. Andy 8

    and the elephant in the room is of course the completely pointless ETS, but you don’t want to talk about that, do you?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Govt extends support schemes for businesses
    Extra 40,000 businesses to be eligible for wage subsidy extension Small business cashflow support application period extended The Government is today announcing further support for businesses that continue to be affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, as the broader economy becomes one of the most open in the world following ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Five new Super Hercules to join Air Force fleet
    The Coalition Government has confirmed five Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules transport aircraft will be purchased to replace the existing fleet, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today.  “Last year, Cabinet selected these aircraft as the preferred option to replace the current Hercules fleet. Procurement of the Super Hercules has been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Wairarapa Moana seeks international recognition as vital wetland
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage is celebrating World Environment Day with an announcement of a major step towards Wairarapa Moana being recognised as an internationally significant wetland. “Wairarapa Moana is an ecosystem of 10,000 hectares of wetland and open water that provides a home for indigenous fish, birds and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • First Police wing to complete training post lockdown
    A new-look Police graduation ceremony to take account of COVID19 health rules has marked the completion of training for 57 new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash attended this afternoon's ceremony, where officers of Recruit Wing 337 were formally sworn in at the Royal New Zealand Police College without the normal support of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Government makes further inroads on predatory lenders
    Mobile traders and truck shops must adhere to responsible lending requirements Interest rate cap on high-cost loans Lenders prohibited from offering further credit to an applicant who has taken two high-cost loans in the past 90 days The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Kris Faafoi, has signalled an end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • New survey shows wage subsidy a “lifeline” for businesses, saved jobs
    94% of firms say wage subsidy had positive impact on cashflow 62% of firms say support helped to manage non-wage costs like rent A survey of business that have received the Government’s wage subsidy show it has played a significant role in saving jobs, and freed up cash flow to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Tax changes support economic recovery
    New legislation introduced to Parliament today will support growth and assist businesses on the road to economic recovery, said Revenue Minister Stuart Nash. “The Taxation (Annual Rates for 2020-21, Feasibility Expenditure, and Remedial Matters) Bill proposes that businesses can get tax deductions for ‘feasibility expenditure’ on new investments,” said Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • $4.6 million financial relief for professional sports
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has welcomed the first release of funds from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced as part of Budget 2020. Sport NZ has announced that $4.6 million in funding will go to the Wellington Phoenix, NZ Warriors, Super Rugby teams and the ANZ Premiership ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Critical support for strategic tourism assets
    An iconic New Zealand tourism attraction and the country’s 31 Regional Tourism Organisations are the first recipients of support from the $400 million Tourism Sector Recovery Plan, to help position the sector for recovery from COVID-19, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. The plan includes a Strategic Tourism Assets Protection ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Supporting Kiwi businesses to resolve commercial rent disputes
    The Government will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the COVID-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. A temporary amendment to the Property Law Act will insert a clause in commercial leases requiring a fair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Prompt payments to SMEs even more urgent
    The Minister for Small Business says new data from Xero highlights the urgency of prompt payment practices to small and medium enterprises as we move into economic recovery. Last month Government ministers wrote to significant private enterprises and the banking industry to request they join efforts by government agencies to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Free period products in schools to combat poverty
    Young people in Waikato will be the first to have free access to period products in schools in another step to support children and young people in poverty,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.  During term 3, the Ministry of Education will begin providing free period products to schools following the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Response to charges in New Plymouth
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash has issued the following statement in response to charges filed against three Police officers this morning in the New Plymouth District Court. “Any incident involving a loss of life in Police custody is taken very seriously. The charges today reflect the gravity of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt boosts innovation, R&D for economic rebuild
    $196 million for Crown Research Institutes $150 million for R&D loan scheme $33 million for Māori research and development opportunities $12 million for the Nationally Significant Collections and Databases $10 million to help maintain in-house capability at Callaghan Innovation New Zealand’s entrepreneurs, innovators and crown researchers will benefit from a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Temporary changes to NCEA and University Entrance this year
    Further temporary changes to NCEA and University Entrance (UE) will support senior secondary school students whose teaching and learning have been disrupted by COVID-19. “The wellbeing of students and teachers is a priority. As we are all aware, COVID-19 has created massive disruption to the school system, and the Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Extended terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency
    Minister for Racing Winston Peters today announced that the terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) have been extended to 30 June 2021. Due to the COVID-19 crisis the transition period has been extended to ensure that the Racing Industry Bill can complete its progress through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Healthy Homes Standards statement of compliance deadline extended
    The deadline for landlords to include detailed information in their tenancy agreements about how their property meets the Healthy Homes Standards, so tenants can see the home they are renting is compliant, has been extended from 1 July 2020 to 1 December 2020.  The Healthy Homes Standards became law on 1 July 2019. The Standards are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission board appointments announced
    Justice Minister Andrew Little today announced details of further appointments to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. “I am pleased to announce Paula Rose QSO OStJ as Deputy Chief Commissioner for a term of five years commencing on 15 June 2020,” said Andrew Little. “I am also pleased to announce the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Release of initial list of supported training to aid COVID-19 recovery
    The Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) will pay costs of learners of all ages to undertake vocational education and training The fund will target support for areas of study and training that will give learners better employment prospects as New Zealand recovers from COVID-19 Apprentices working in all industries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Emission trading reforms another step to meeting climate targets
    The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will finally start to cut New Zealand’s greenhouse gas pollution as it was originally intended to, because of changes announced today by the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw. The changes include a limit on the total emissions allowed within the ETS, rules to ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Queen’s Birthday Honours highlights Pacific leadership capability in Aotearoa
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List provides an abundance of examples that Pacific people’s leadership capability is unquestionable in Aotearoa. “The work and the individuals we acknowledge this year highlights the kind of visionary examples and dedicated community leadership that we need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt backing horticulture to succeed
    The Government is backing a new $27 million project aimed at boosting sustainable horticulture production and New Zealand’s COVID-19 recovery efforts, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our economy. During and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Applications open for forestry scholarships
    Applications have opened for 2021 Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships, which will support more Māori and women to pursue careers in forestry science, says Forestry Minister Shane Jones. “I’m delighted Te Uru Rākau is offering Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships for the third year running. These ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Excellent service to nature recognised
    The Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List once again highlights the dedication by many to looking after our native plants and wildlife, including incredible work to restore the populations of critically endangered birds says Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. Anne Richardson of Hororata has been made an Officer of the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wetlands and waterways gain from 1BT funding
    The Government will invest $10 million from the One Billion Trees Fund for large-scale planting to provide jobs in communities and improve the environment, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Forestry Minister Shane Jones have announced. New, more flexible funding criteria for applications will help up to 10 catchment groups plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New fund for women now open
    Organisations that support women are invited to apply to a new $1,000,000 fund as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response. “We know women, and organisations that support women, have been affected by COVID-19. This new money will ensure funding for groups that support women and women’s rights,” said Minister for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt supports King Country farmers to lift freshwater quality
    Healthier waterways are front and centre in a new project involving more than 300 King Country sheep, beef and dairy farmers. The Government is investing $844,000 in King Country River Care, a group that helps farmers to lift freshwater quality and farming practice, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “Yesterday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Libraries to help with jobs and community recovery
    A major funding package for libraries will allow them to play a far greater role in supporting their communities and people seeking jobs as part of the economic recovery from COVID-19. “Budget 2020 contains over $60 million of funding to protect library services and to protect jobs,” says Internal Affairs ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Support for arts and music sector recovery
    A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package in a crucial economic boost to support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Legislative changes to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has welcomed the First Reading of a Bill that will make legislative changes to further improve the veterans’ support system.  The Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill No 2, which will amend the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, passed First Reading today. The bill addresses a number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christ Church Cathedral – Order in Council
    Views sought on Order in Council to help fast track the reinstatement of the Christ Church Cathedral  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Poto Williams, will be seeking public written comment, following Cabinet approving the drafting of an Order in Council aimed at fast-tracking the reinstatement of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealanders’ human rights better protected in new Bill
    The law setting out New Zealanders’ basic civil and human rights is today one step towards being strengthened following the first reading of a Bill that requires Parliament to take action if a court says a statute undermines those rights. At present, a senior court can issue a ‘declaration of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deep concern at Hong Kong national security legislation
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong. “New Zealand shares the international community’s significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government invests in New Zealand’s cultural recovery
    Thousands of artists and creatives at hundreds of cultural and heritage organisations have been given much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better protection for New Zealand assets during COVID-19 crisis
    Key New Zealand assets will be better protected from being sold to overseas owners in a way contrary to the national interest, with the passage of the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Bill. The Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament today, also cuts unnecessary red tape to help attract ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
    Setting higher health standards at swimming spots Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health Ensuring ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New appointments to the Commerce Commission
    The Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister and Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has today announced the appointment of Tristan Gilbertson as the new Telecommunications Commissioner and member of the Commerce Commission. “Mr Gilbertson has considerable experience in the telecommunications industry and a strong reputation amongst his peers,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Historic pay equity settlement imminent for teacher aides
    The Ministry of Education and NZEI Te Riu Roa have agreed to settle the pay equity claim for teacher aides, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This will see more than 22,000 teacher aides, mostly women, being valued and paid fairly for the work they do. “Teacher aides are frontline ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt delivers security for construction subcontractors
    Subcontractors will have greater certainty, more cashflow support and job security with new changes to retention payments under the Construction Contracts Act says Minister for Building and Construction, Jenny Salesa. A recent review of the retentions money regime showed that most of the building and construction sector is complying with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago