Fair Pay Agreements are simple
Fair Pay Agreements are a way of deciding what’s a fair way to treat working people in a particular industry. They cover things like pay, hours, leave and health and safety.
FPAs are a new part of New Zealand’s employment law that are being proposed by the current Government. They will set minimum standards of employment for everyone in a particular industry.
That means, for example, that nobody in that industry can be paid less than the rate agreed. It’s like the minimum wage, but for a specific industry. This will be negotiated by unions and employers in that industry.
Do I need to be part of a union to get an FPA?
You don’t need to be part of a union to be covered by an FPA. But if you want to improve your conditions at work, it’s important you’re a member of your union.
You can find the union to join here.
How will an FPA affect my work?
FPAs will level the playing field. They will create more minimums for your entire sector, meaning no one gets left behind.
Whatever issues are affecting your industry (base wages, hours, overtimes, health and safety, flexible working, skills and training), they can be resolved by an FPA.
How will I have a say in the FPA?
There are three places where you can have your say:
- If you want one
- What you want in it
- Voting on the results
Workers in the industry are the ones who decide if they want an FPA or not. For an FPA to be initiated, it needs 10% of the workforce, or 1000 people – whichever number is lowest.
Once an FPA is initiated in your industry – all workers in your industry are entitled to meet to discuss and vote on it. Here, you can talk about the changes you want to see (more pay, fewer hours etc).
You can use your collective voice to talk about the things that matter in your workplace and industry. Once this has been decided, the agreement is negotiated with your employer. If you are not happy with the negotiations, you can turn down the agreement.
You can find out more about what the process looks like here [link to detailed process].
How will I have a say at work?
FPAs will help you be heard at work.
It can be tough to get things sorted in a single workplace. FPAs are a way for you to join with other workplaces in your industry and give you a real voice.
Will this change my employment agreement?
An FPA is not a contract between an employer and employee. An FPA is more like a law that sets standards for all the agreements in a sector or an occupation, like sick leave or minimum wages.
If an FPA is agreed in an industry you work in, you won’t get a whole new employment agreement. But whatever employment agreement you have – individual or collective – it will have to be the same or better than what’s listed in the FPA. If it doesn’t already, your employment agreement would be updated to meet those terms.
Can’t my employer just opt out of an FPA?
No. If they are part of a particular industry, by law they must comply and give you a Fair Pay rate.
Isn’t this just the government telling us what to do?
This is an opportunity for you have a greater say in how you work.
Workers decide this process every step of the way.