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  1. Policies that support a high degree of regulatory efficiency are in place. The entrepreneurial environment is one of the most competitive, with start-up companies benefiting from great flexibility in licensing and other regulatory frameworks. The labor regulations facilitate a dynamic labor market. New Zealand has a vibrant agriculture sector with the lowest subsidies of any OECD country. Business Freedom : 91.0 Labor Freedom : 86.7 Monetary Freedom : 87.5 The combined value of exports and imports is equal to 51.3 percent of GDP. The average applied tariff rate is 1.3 percent. As of June 30, 2018, according to the WTO, New Zealand had 242 nontariff measures in force. Overall, openness to global trade and investment is firmly institutionalized. Banking is well established and competitive. Trade Freedom : 92.4 Investment Freedom : 80.0 Financial Freedom : 80.0 heritage.org
  2. Private property rights are strongly protected, and New Zealand ranks among the world’s top countries for contract security. The judicial system is independent and functions well. New Zealand ranked first out of 180 countries surveyed in Transparency International’s 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index. The country is renowned for its efforts to ensure a transparent, competitive, and corruption-free government procurement system. Property Rights : 95.0 Government Integrity : 96.7 Judicial Effectiveness : 83.5 The top income tax rate is 33 percent, and the top corporate tax rate is 28 percent. Other taxes include goods and services and environmental taxes. The overall tax burden equals 32.1 percent of total domestic income. Over the past three years, government spending has amounted to 40.7 percent of the country’s output (GDP), and budget surpluses have averaged 1.2 percent of GDP. Public debt is equivalent to 26.4 percent of GDP. Government Spending : 50.4 Tax Burden : 71.0 Fiscal Health : 98.6 heritage.org
  3. The former British colony of New Zealand is one of the Asia–Pacific region’s more prosperous countries. The center-right National Party, led by Prime Minister John Key, returned to power in 2008 and won reelection in 2011 and 2014. When Key resigned, his deputy, Bill English, succeeded him in late 2016. Elections in September 2017 resulted in a hung parliament, with the “kingmaker” and populist New Zealand First party subsequently forming a minority coalition, enabling new Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labor Party to return to power. Far-reaching deregulation and privatization since the 1980s have largely liberated the economy. Agriculture is important, as are manufacturing, tourism, and a strong geothermal energy resource base. The economy has been expanding since 2010. heritage.org
  4. New Zealand’s economic freedom score is 84.4, making its economy the 3rd freest in the 2019 Index. Its overall score has increased by 0.2 point, with higher scores for trade freedom and labor freedom narrowly exceeding declines in judicial effectiveness and monetary freedom. New Zealand is ranked 3rd among 43 countries in the Asia–Pacific region, and its overall score is far above the regional and world averages. A global leader in economic freedom, New Zealand has generally followed a long-term market-oriented policy framework that fosters economic resilience and growth. The new government shook business confidence in 2018 with plans for a higher minimum wage, union-friendly labor code reforms, fewer immigrant visas, a ban on housing purchases by foreigners, and higher taxes. A series of settlements after public-sector union strikes will likely push wage demands higher in the private sector. The rule of law is well maintained, and the judiciary is generally independent. heritage.org
  5. Australia - Fiscal Balance Australian government presents 2016/2017 budget, revises upwards expected fiscal deficits On 3 May, Australia Treasurer Scott Morrison presented the Federal budget to the Australian Parliament for fiscal year 2016/2017, which runs from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017. This is the first budget to be presented by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s administration and was announced approximately 60 days before the upcoming double-dissolution election that is scheduled to be held on 2 July. Aside from the political dimension surrounding the budget release, its actual content did not offer many surprises. Turnbull’s government has acted prudently amid sluggish economic growth in Australia, holding off on any major expenditure in order to limit deficit spending, while refocusing government expenditure on job creation and growth. In terms of fiscal forecasts, the government foresees slightly larger fiscal deficits over the next four years compared to the figures published in the Mid-Year Economic and Financial Outlook (MYEFO) released in December. The government is still expecting the budget to move into surplus in 2020/2021 as the economy is expected to gather strength, which, in turn, will bolster revenues. Small and middle sized businesses were some of the winners from this year’s budget, as they received a significant tax cut from 28.5% to 27.5%. Furthermore, more business will be able to take advantage of this tax break as the government plans on continuously expanding the middle size business bracket to larger businesses in coming years. Upper-middle income families also received a boost, as the budget raises the middle-income tax bracket to include higher earners. In terms of expenditure, the government is continuing with its AUD 50 billion infrastructure spending plan that started in 2013, however, there was a distinct absence of any new relevant infrastructure announcements and not much in the way of extra funding allocated to existing infrastructure projects. In terms of government revenues, the government is attempting to close the budget gap by cracking down on tax avoidance, establishing a new so-called “Google tax” on multinational corporations that attempt to move profits offshore as well as increasing the taxation of tobacco products. Rating agencies appeared more hesitant than usual to affirm Australia’s AAA rating after the budget was passed. In previous years, major credit rating agencies have reacted quickly to budget releases, immediately rubber stamping the country’s ‘Prime’ rating. However, this year, S&P Global Ratings hesitated to issue a rating decision, while Moody’s affirmed its Aaa rating, but issued a disclaimer noting that Australia is vulnerable to shocks to public finances which may affect its rating. Such concerns are likely due to the upward revision to Australia’s deficit in the run up to 2020/2021, along with increased government debt expectations. Analysts at the National Australia Bank point out that, although there are grounds for concern, the government’s conservative fiscal approach should keep Australia clear of a downgrade and stated: “We have previously highlighted that rising debt and successive years of Governments pushing out the date when the Budget recovers has means Australia is pushing close to the boundaries for a AAA country. Our sense is the Budget has done enough to avoid a more stringent warning from the ratings agencies but a change in rating outlook is not out of the question.” Overall the budget was associated with a mild contractionary fiscal policy, as the government attempts to rein in spending and reduce the deficit. The government expects the deficit to be 2.2% of GDP in FY 2016/2017, and to narrow to 1.0% of GDP in FY 2017/2018. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast Panelists are less optimistic and see the deficit at 2.5% of GDP in calendar year 2016, and 2.1% of GDP in calendar year 2017 focus-economics.com
  6. Australia - Unemployment Employment rebounds sharply in November Seasonally-adjusted employment jumped by 39,900 in November, following a revised 24,800 job shed in October (previously reported: -19,000). November’s result beat market expectations of a 14,000 jobs addition and was driven by an increase in both full-time and part-time employment. Seasonally-adjusted unemployment inched down to 5.2% in November, reversing October’s uptick. Moreover, the seasonally-adjusted underemployment rate decreased to 8.3% in November, from 8.5% in October, while the seasonally-adjusted participation rate was stable at October’s 66.0%. FocusEconomics panelists expect the unemployment rate to average 5.2% in 2020, unchanged from last month’s estimate, and also 5.2% in 2021. focus-economics.com
  7. Australia - Public Debt Australian government presents 2016/2017 budget, revises upwards expected fiscal deficits On 3 May, Australia Treasurer Scott Morrison presented the Federal budget to the Australian Parliament for fiscal year 2016/2017, which runs from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017. This is the first budget to be presented by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s administration and was announced approximately 60 days before the upcoming double-dissolution election that is scheduled to be held on 2 July. Aside from the political dimension surrounding the budget release, its actual content did not offer many surprises. Turnbull’s government has acted prudently amid sluggish economic growth in Australia, holding off on any major expenditure in order to limit deficit spending, while refocusing government expenditure on job creation and growth. In terms of fiscal forecasts, the government foresees slightly larger fiscal deficits over the next four years compared to the figures published in the Mid-Year Economic and Financial Outlook (MYEFO) released in December. The government is still expecting the budget to move into surplus in 2020/2021 as the economy is expected to gather strength, which, in turn, will bolster revenues. Small and middle sized businesses were some of the winners from this year’s budget, as they received a significant tax cut from 28.5% to 27.5%. Furthermore, more business will be able to take advantage of this tax break as the government plans on continuously expanding the middle size business bracket to larger businesses in coming years. Upper-middle income families also received a boost, as the budget raises the middle-income tax bracket to include higher earners. In terms of expenditure, the government is continuing with its AUD 50 billion infrastructure spending plan that started in 2013, however, there was a distinct absence of any new relevant infrastructure announcements and not much in the way of extra funding allocated to existing infrastructure projects. In terms of government revenues, the government is attempting to close the budget gap by cracking down on tax avoidance, establishing a new so-called “Google tax” on multinational corporations that attempt to move profits offshore as well as increasing the taxation of tobacco products. Rating agencies appeared more hesitant than usual to affirm Australia’s AAA rating after the budget was passed. In previous years, major credit rating agencies have reacted quickly to budget releases, immediately rubber stamping the country’s ‘Prime’ rating. However, this year, S&P Global Ratings hesitated to issue a rating decision, while Moody’s affirmed its Aaa rating, but issued a disclaimer noting that Australia is vulnerable to shocks to public finances which may affect its rating. Such concerns are likely due to the upward revision to Australia’s deficit in the run up to 2020/2021, along with increased government debt expectations. Analysts at the National Australia Bank point out that, although there are grounds for concern, the government’s conservative fiscal approach should keep Australia clear of a downgrade and stated: “We have previously highlighted that rising debt and successive years of Governments pushing out the date when the Budget recovers has means Australia is pushing close to the boundaries for a AAA country. Our sense is the Budget has done enough to avoid a more stringent warning from the ratings agencies but a change in rating outlook is not out of the question.” Overall the budget was associated with a mild contractionary fiscal policy, as the government attempts to rein in spending and reduce the deficit. The government expects the deficit to be 2.2% of GDP in FY 2016/2017, and to narrow to 1.0% of GDP in FY 2017/2018. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast Panelists are less optimistic and see the deficit at 2.5% of GDP in calendar year 2016, and 2.1% of GDP in calendar year 2017 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Public Debt (% of GDP) 30.7 34.1 37.8 40.5 40.7 focus-economics.com
  8. Australia - Exports Goods and Services Growth disappoints in Q3, held down by weak domestic demand GDP expanded 0.4% quarter-on-quarter in seasonally-adjusted terms in Q2, following a revised 0.6% quarter-on-quarter increase in the second quarter (previously reported: +0.5% quarter-on-quarter), according to figures released by Australia’s Statistical Institute (ABS) on 4 December. The result disappointed market analysts’ expectations of a 0.5% quarter-on-quarter expansion and underlined soft growth dynamics. Meanwhile, on an annual basis, the economy grew 1.7%, marginally up from Q2’s revised 1.6% (previously reported: +1.4% year-on-year), which had marked the weakest expansion since Q3 2009. A slowdown in household spending and another contraction in fixed investment weighed on the domestic economy. Private consumption weakened (Q3: +0.1% qoq; Q2: +0.3% qoq), weighed on by a frail housing market, soft wage growth and high levels of debt. Additionally, a notable increase in the saving ratio frustrated the government’s efforts to boost spending through the introduction of tax cuts to low and middle incomes reflected in the sizable rise in disposable income. Moreover, fixed investment fell again (Q3: -0.2% qoq; Q2: -1.5% qoq), albeit to a lesser extent than in the previous quarter, on the back of another significant drop in dwelling investment and as tumbling mining investment weighed on business investment. Meanwhile, government spending lost pace following Q2’s surge—associated with May’s general election—but remained robust nevertheless (Q3: +0.9% qoq; Q2: +2.5% qoq). The external sector, meanwhile, continued to support the economy, albeit less than in Q2. Exports rose 0.7% in Q3 (Q2: +1.3% qoq), supported by strong foreign sales of commodities, and imports dipped 0.3% in Q3, after contracting 1.1% in Q2, due to subdued domestic demand. The combination of higher exports, more favorable terms of trade and falling imports boosted Australia’s current account surplus compared to Q2, which had marked the first current account surplus since 1975. Commenting on the prospects for the Australian economy going forward, and how this will likely influence the future path of monetary policy, Andrew Ticehurst, Australia and New Zealand economist at Nomura, stated: “Growth clearly remains sub-trend, and we believe this data undermines somewhat the more upbeat narrative we heard from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) yesterday. Moreover, while the level of growth remains underwhelming, we also describe the quality of growth revealed in the national accounts as poor. We continue to see further policy easing from the RBA next year, including 25bp rate cuts in Q1 and Q2, and we continue to assign an approximate 50-60% probability to unconventional policy easing, most likely in late-2020. In turn, we retain a positive view on AUD rates, expecting them to outperform US treasuries, and we maintain our cautious medium-term view on AUD.” Growth should gather pace in 2020, underpinned by favorable financing conditions and a supportive business climate. Mining and housing investment are set to expand, which, coupled with somewhat stronger consumer spending, should prop up domestic demand. That said, a volatile external backdrop and further slowdown of the Chinese economy pose downside risks to the outlook. FocusEconomics panelists project GDP to expand 2.4% in 2020, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. In 2021, growth is seen accelerating to 2.6%. focus-economics.com
  9. Australia - Investment Growth disappoints in Q3, held down by weak domestic demand GDP expanded 0.4% quarter-on-quarter in seasonally-adjusted terms in Q2, following a revised 0.6% quarter-on-quarter increase in the second quarter (previously reported: +0.5% quarter-on-quarter), according to figures released by Australia’s Statistical Institute (ABS) on 4 December. The result disappointed market analysts’ expectations of a 0.5% quarter-on-quarter expansion and underlined soft growth dynamics. Meanwhile, on an annual basis, the economy grew 1.7%, marginally up from Q2’s revised 1.6% (previously reported: +1.4% year-on-year), which had marked the weakest expansion since Q3 2009. A slowdown in household spending and another contraction in fixed investment weighed on the domestic economy. Private consumption weakened (Q3: +0.1% qoq; Q2: +0.3% qoq), weighed on by a frail housing market, soft wage growth and high levels of debt. Additionally, a notable increase in the saving ratio frustrated the government’s efforts to boost spending through the introduction of tax cuts to low and middle incomes reflected in the sizable rise in disposable income. Moreover, fixed investment fell again (Q3: -0.2% qoq; Q2: -1.5% qoq), albeit to a lesser extent than in the previous quarter, on the back of another significant drop in dwelling investment and as tumbling mining investment weighed on business investment. Meanwhile, government spending lost pace following Q2’s surge—associated with May’s general election—but remained robust nevertheless (Q3: +0.9% qoq; Q2: +2.5% qoq). The external sector, meanwhile, continued to support the economy, albeit less than in Q2. Exports rose 0.7% in Q3 (Q2: +1.3% qoq), supported by strong foreign sales of commodities, and imports dipped 0.3% in Q3, after contracting 1.1% in Q2, due to subdued domestic demand. The combination of higher exports, more favorable terms of trade and falling imports boosted Australia’s current account surplus compared to Q2, which had marked the first current account surplus since 1975. Commenting on the prospects for the Australian economy going forward, and how this will likely influence the future path of monetary policy, Andrew Ticehurst, Australia and New Zealand economist at Nomura, stated: “Growth clearly remains sub-trend, and we believe this data undermines somewhat the more upbeat narrative we heard from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) yesterday. Moreover, while the level of growth remains underwhelming, we also describe the quality of growth revealed in the national accounts as poor. We continue to see further policy easing from the RBA next year, including 25bp rate cuts in Q1 and Q2, and we continue to assign an approximate 50-60% probability to unconventional policy easing, most likely in late-2020. In turn, we retain a positive view on AUD rates, expecting them to outperform US treasuries, and we maintain our cautious medium-term view on AUD.” Growth should gather pace in 2020, underpinned by favorable financing conditions and a supportive business climate. Mining and housing investment are set to expand, which, coupled with somewhat stronger consumer spending, should prop up domestic demand. That said, a volatile external backdrop and further slowdown of the Chinese economy pose downside risks to the outlook. FocusEconomics panelists project GDP to expand 2.4% in 2020, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. In 2021, growth is seen accelerating to 2.6%. 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Investment (annual variation in %) -1.7 -1.9 -3.6 -2.3 3.3 focus-economics.com
  10. Australia - GDP Australian gross domestic product (GDP) is the most important measure with which to evaluate the performance of Australia’s economy. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) publishes GDP figures on an annual and quarterly basis. The table below shows the change of price-adjusted GDP for Australia, typically referred to as Australia’s economic growth rate. Overview Gross domestic product (GDP) measures the economic performance of a country over a given period, typically a year or a quarter. It is therefore the most important economic indicator to evaluate the country’s economy (see our GDP page for more information on this indicator). Australia’s GDP data (National Accounts, NA) are produced by Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) based on the System of National Accounts (SNA 2008). Australian GDP Growth Performance In the ten years before the great recession, from 1999 to 2008, Australia’s GDP grew 3.4% on average per year. Economic growth decelerated to 1.6% in 2009 as a result of the global financial turmoil. Although 2009 was the worst year for the Australian economy since the recession in 1991, the economy showed great resilience to the global crisis. In fact, Australia was one of the few developed countries that recorded positive in 2009. Australia’s economic performance improved in the following years, with GDP growth averaging 2.7% from 2010 to 2013. Structure of Australian Gross Domestic Product The increase in demand for raw commodities from emerging countries since the early 2000s, which led to a strong rise in global commodity prices, has played a very important role in the dynamics of the Australian economy. Along with higher terms of trade, which sparked a substantial rise in the purchasing power of households, the rise in commodity prices caused a boom in mining investment, particularly coal and iron. Mining investment, hence, has been one of the main drivers of Australian growth during the last 10 years. The Australian economy is now in transition from the investment phase of the mining boom to the production phase. The expansion in production capacity for iron and coal has already had a strong positive effect on Australia’s exports to the Asian market. The mining sector, together with the financial sector and related professional and scientific services have markedly increased in importance in Australia’s GDP over the course of the last 10 years. In contrast, manufacturing output has seen its share steadily shrinking. As a result, around three-quarters of the economy now involves mining and the production of services rather than goods, with the financial sector replacing manufacturing as the largest single industry in the economy. When are Australian GDP Data Released? The Australian Bureau of Statistics publishes GDP data on a quarterly and annual basis. Annual GDP data for Australia are released each year in November. Quarterly GDP readings are released two months after the end of the quarter, i.e. at the beginning of March, June, September and December. Quarterly GDP data are published along with a press release in which the Australian Bureau of Statistics provides an analysis of the results. The press release is available on the government website along with a calendar of the upcoming releases. How are Australian GDP Figures Computed? The Australian Bureau of Statistics calculates GDP by applying three methods: the production, the expenditure, and the income approaches. The production approach determines the value added of all producers as the difference between the value of goods and services produced (output) and intermediate consumption, adding the taxes on products (such as tobacco, mineral oil and value added tax), and subtracting the subsidies on products. The expenditure approach calculates the expenditure for the final use of goods and services, i.e. final consumption expenditure of households and government final consumption expenditure, capital formation and the balance of exports and imports (net exports). Finally, the income approach determines the income of the economy as the sum of compensation of employees, gross operating surplus, gross mixed income and taxes less subsidies on production and imports. Volume estimates are derived at the total GDP level by deflating current price estimates by the implicit price deflator from the expenditure approach. While each approach should, conceptually, produce the same estimate of GDP, if the three measures are compiled using different data sources, then different estimates of GDP result. The ABS aligns the estimates of GDP annually by balancing them in supply and use tables. Balancing in supply and use tables ensures that the same estimate of GDP is obtained from the three approaches. focus-economics.com
  11. Human Rights Commission Report 2010 The Human Rights Commission periodically releases an intensive report documenting human rights in New Zealand, mapping how they are being "promoted, protected and implemented." Of the thirty 'priority areas for action on human rights' released in the 2010 report, three were workplace and employment related. These included: Implementing a new framework for equal opportunities that addresses access to decent work for disadvantaged groups such as Maori, Pacific youth and disabled people Timetabling pay and employment-equity implementation with a minimum target of halving the gender pay gap by 2014 and eliminating it by 2020 Addressing barriers to the employment of migrant workers and ensuring the rights of temporary, seasonal and rural workers and those on work-to-residence visas are respected Māori and Pasifika rights Barriers to employment and promotion and equal employment opportunities continue to be one of the major issues facing Māori and Pacific peoples across the full range of occupations. The Ministry of Development's Social Report 2010 assessed the social and economic wellbeing of New Zealanders across a range of indicators. It found higher rates of unemployment for young people, Māori, Pacific peoples and other ethnic groups, and lower rates of median hourly earnings for the same groups as compare with Pakeha/European groups. This was in line with findings from previous years. The report also found that 14 per cent of the population live in low-income households. Since 2001, the annual Social Report, published by the Ministry of Social Development, has charted improvements in unemployment and employment rates and outcomes for Māori in socio-economic outcomes for Māori. Despite these improvements, average outcomes for Māori tend to be poorer than for the total population and the median hourly earnings, occupational spread, representation in senior roles and workplace injury claims. Despite improvements over the last decade, these gaps have widened due to the economic recession that began in late 2008. Unemployment rates in particular have risen, and are higher for Māori than for non-Māori. Māori youth unemployment rates stand as one of the highest figures of any group in New Zealand, sitting at 30.3 per cent in June 2010. Disabled rights New Zealand has ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Currently, disabled people, though being protected by a number of domestic statutes (for example the Human Rights Act and NZBORA), are considered one of the most disadvantaged groups in New Zealand when it comes to the right to work, and barriers to employment such as gaining interviews. This was reflected in figures released in 2006 showing the New Zealand labour force participation rate for disabled people was 45 per cent, compared with 77 per cent for non-disabled people. Gender rights Despite having pioneered a number of rights issues in the international sphere, in 2010 the United Nations Human Rights Committee raised concern about the low representation of women in high-level and managerial positions and on boards of private enterprises with respect to compliance with arts 2, 3 and 26 of the ICCPR ( International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ). It was recommended the state seek ways to encourage women participation in these roles including through enhanced cooperation and dialogue with partners in the private sector. Although the part-time employment rate in New Zealand has almost doubled for men since 1986, women continue to have a higher part-time employment rate than men (23.1 per cent and 8.7 per cent, respectively). There was also pervasive inequality found between men and women in the sharing of power and decision-making at all levels. The current mechanisms in place were considered insufficient at all levels to address the advancement of women and the gender pay gap was criticised with average median levels of difference sitting at 10.6%. Immigrant rights Immigration in New Zealand is governed by the Immigration Act 2009. While, New Zealand generally complies with and exceeds international standards in terms of its legislation and policies where it regards race relations, barriers to employment and promotion continue to be one of the major issues facing migrants and refugees living in New Zealand. The Human Rights Commission cited that plight of migrant workers in New Zealand has received extensive mainstream media coverage on a range of issues including discrimination, exploitation and battles over work and entry visas. wikipedia.org
  12. Minimum rights and entitlements A number of rights and entitlements arise from the various employment enactments. Under New Zealand law, an employee cannot be asked to agree to less than the minimum rights and obligations as provided by the law. An employee must have a written agreement and the minimum employment rights must be met whether or not they are included in this agreement. Minimum wage The minimum wage rates apply to all employees and must be paid if a person is over 16 years of age and not a starting-out or trainee worker. The wage rates are reviewed annually by the government. As at 1 April 2019, the minimum wage is set at $17.70 for adults and $14.16 for the starting-out rate. Meal and rest breaks Employers must keep an accurate record of an employee's time worked, payments, and holiday and leave entitlements. Employees are currently entitled to: One 10-minute paid rest break when they work between two and four hours One 10-minute paid rest break and one unpaid 30-minute meal break when they work more than four and up to six hours Two 10-minute paid rest breaks and one unpaid 30-minute meal break when they work more than six and up to eight hours These requirements begin over again where the employee works more than eight hours. The legislation provides for breaks to be taken at times mutually agreed between the employer and employee. If there is no agreement, then the breaks must be evenly distributed throughout the work period. The minimum break entitlements are currently under review by Parliament. This has caused controversy in some circles in New Zealand. The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU) has argued the relaxation of the breaks provision places too much power in the hands of the employer and raises concerns about workplace health and safety. Holidays and leave Employees are entitled to four weeks' paid annual holiday leave at the end of each year of employment. New Zealand also has 11 annual public holidays and an employee is entitled to these days off work on pay, if they are days when the employee would normally work. Where an employee does work a public holiday, the employee must be paid at least time-and-a-half for the time worked and is also entitled to an alternative paid holiday. After 6 months of employment an employee is entitled to 5 days' sick leave on pay and paid bereavement leave. The entitlement varies from: Three days' leave on the death of a spouse/partner, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, or spouse/partner's parent (That is, three days for each separate bereavement, even if they all occurred simultaneously.) One day if their employer accepts they have suffered a bereavement involving another person not included above. Employees may also be entitled to paid and unpaid parental leave if they meet certain criteria. This paid leave is funded by the government, not employers. wikipedia.org
  13. Other important labour related legislation includes: Health and Safety at Work Act 2015: This Act requires employers and employees to take steps to maintain a safe work place; Holidays Act 1981: This Act sets out minimum entitlements and requirements with regards to annual holidays, public holidays and special leave; Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987: sets out entitlements of employees to parental leave. It currently gives employees 22 weeks of government funded parental (maternity) leave. Employees may also take an additional extended leave for child care (up to 52 weeks' extended leave—less the number of weeks primary carer leave taken, up to 22 weeks). There is a presumption that the job will be kept open for the employee taking leave; The Accident Compensation Act 2001: sets out the no fault scheme in New Zealand whereby employees who suffer an injury at work have an entitlement to compensation from a state-funded insurance scheme. As a result of this scheme, employees are barred from a suit at common law for compensatory damages; New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (NZBORA): This statute is considered of fundamental constitutional importance. The seeks to affirm, protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms in New Zealand and to affirm New Zealand's commitment to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This Act expressly recognises a number of fundamental rights such as the freedom of association; Minimum Wage Act 1983: sets out minimum wage rates for employees; Privacy Act 1993: sets out various privacy principles including those on the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. Personal information includes information held about employees; The Equal Pay Act 1972: seeks to remove and prevent workplace discrimination, based on the sex of an employee. wikipedia.org
  14. Human Rights Act 1993 The Human Rights Act 1993 expressly prohibits discrimination on certain stated grounds including sex, race, family status, political opinion and the like. It applies to almost all aspects of employment including job advertisement, application forms, interviews and job offers. It also applies to unpaid workers and independent contractors. The ERA expressly applies the HRA to employment matters. Discrimination Workplace discrimination is dealt with under the Human Rights Act 1993. Discrimination in employment can involve: Refusal or failure to offer and employee the same terms of employment, conditions of work, fringe benefits or opportunities as other employees with the same or similar qualifications, experience or skills working in the same or similar circumstances; Dismissal or detriment by the employer in circumstances in which other employees doing the same kind of work are not, or would not be, treated in such a way; and Retirement or being made to retire or resign by the employer While the Act in New Zealand covers women, trans persons and discrimination based on cultural grounds a number of barriers still exist in practice in relation to persons who fall within these socio-economic groups. The findings from The Inquiry into Discrimination Experienced by Transgender People conduction by the Human Rights Commission in 2008 found that the majority of submissions made describing some form of discrimination focused on the area of employment. Four out of five submissions described examples of discrimination that ranged from harassment at work to vicious assault and sexual abuse. In 2010 the Centre for Applied Cross-cultural Research at Victoria University published a meta-analysis of all research relating to the experience of discrimination by Asian New Zealanders. The results found that Asian people experienced significant discrimination both working at and applying for jobs, and had higher rates of unemployment and under-employment than other ethnic groups. If an employee has been unlawfully discriminated against during the course of employment they may pursue a person grievance under the ER Act through the MBIE or make a complaint under the Human Rights Act; however they cannot pursue both. If the discrimination occurs before employment, an individual can only pursue a complaint under the Human Rights Act. It remains difficult to gauge the levels of workplace discrimination in New Zealand nationally due to inadequacies in data recording and reporting. wikipedia.org
  15. Employment Relations Act 2000 The Employment Relations Act 2000 (the "ER Act") is the most fundamental employment law statute in New Zealand. The ER Act repealed the Employment Contracts Act 1991 (the "ECA"). It enacts a number of core provisions on freedom of association, recognition and operation of unions, collective bargaining, collective agreements, individual employment agreements, employment relations education leave, strikes and lockouts, personal grievances, disputes, enforcement of employment agreements, the Mediation Service, the Employment Court, the Employment Relations Authority and labour inspectors. Many of the key provisions apply once an employment relationship has begun. This includes a principle duty to act in good faith and to communicate openly. Other provisions operate on an ongoing basis irrespective of the employment relationship and are more declarative (as in the case of trade union operations), or administrative (as in the operation of the Employment Relations Authority) in nature. Trade unions Section 110 of the ER Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees for their involvement (or non-involvement) in a union or other employees organisation. The ER Act acknowledges that there is an "inherent inequality of power in employment relationships" and promotes collective bargaining (Section 3) as a way of evening up the power disparity between employers and employees. It also "recognise(s) the role of unions in promoting their members' collective employment interests" in Section 12. Other important recognition's contained in the Act include: Part 4: Recognises the operation of unions generally; Part 5: Recognises the right to collective bargaining, and; Part 8: Recognises the right to strike. Right to association Under Part 3 of the ER Act trade unions in New Zealand have the right to association: (a) employees have the freedom to choose whether or not to form a union or be members of a union for the purpose of advancing their collective employment interests; and (b) no person may, in relation to employment issues, confer any preference or apply any undue influence, directly or indirectly, on another person because the other person is or is not a member of a union. Employment Relations Authority Under section 157 the Employment Relations Authority is defined as an investigative body that examines the facts of the case, as opposed to legal technicalities, in seeking to resolve problems with the parties' employment relationship. wikipedia.org
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