A new Labour government was sworn in on 26 October 2017. A number of changes have been proposed by the new government and the first change will likely be the extension of paid parental leave from 18 weeks to 22 weeks in 2018 and to 26 weeks in 2020.
A general election took place in September this year, with Labour forming a coalition government with the Green Party and New Zealand First party approximately 10 days later. The new government was sworn in on 26 October 2017. A number of changes have been proposed by the new government but the first change will likely be the extension of paid parental leave from 18 weeks to 22 weeks in July 2018 and to 26 weeks in July 2020 (under the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill). The Bill is being rushed through with its introduction and first and second readings all held on 8 November 2017.
In addition, there are a number of new policies that the new government plans to implement. Some of the proposed changes include:
- Increasing the minimum wage to $16.50 per hour;
- Introducing Fair Pay Agreements, which will comprise a common set of terms and conditions applying to a particular industry;
- Restoring reinstatement as the primary remedy where an employee has been unjustifiably dismissed;
- Implementing changes to the Equal Pay Act so that women in female dominated workforces can have access to court processes to settle their claims and have access to collective bargaining.