Understanding Fair Pay Agreements: Your Employer Responsibilities

Discover the implications of Fair Pay Agreements for employers as the first application for negotiations has been approved. Even if your business operates outside the specific industry involved, it’s essential to understand your responsibilities during the initiation stage of a Fair Pay Agreement application.

What are Fair Pay Agreements?

Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs) bring together unions and employer associations within a particular industry or occupation to negotiate minimum employment terms for all eligible employees in that sector.

When an FPA takes effect, it must meet or exceed relevant minimum entitlements. However, if the law introduces new minimum entitlements that surpass FPA terms, the new entitlements will apply.

Employer Actions

Throughout the Fair Pay Agreement process, employers must take specific actions. Here are the key steps and corresponding responsibilities:

1. Union Application or Approval

When a union applies or is approved to initiate FPA negotiations, you, as an employer, need to communicate with your employees and unions:

– Notify other unions representing your covered employees.
– Provide employees with a statement from the initiating union, including their name and contact information.
– Distribute an opt-out form to employees, collect and maintain a record of the forms.
– Share the contact details of employees who have not opted out with the initiating union.

2. Bargaining Begins

During the bargaining phase, employees are represented at the bargaining table. As an employer, you must:

– Share information with employees from the employee bargaining side throughout the process.
– Allow employees to attend two paid meetings, each lasting two hours, arranged by the employee bargaining side.
– Grant access to a representative from the employee bargaining side in the workplace.
– Inform the initiating union if any employee wishes to opt out or opt in at any time and provide updated contact details for the employee bargaining side.

3. Voting

Once the bargaining sides reach an agreement on the FPA terms, your eligible employees may vote on the agreement, even if they had previously opted out of receiving information.

4. Fair Pay Agreement Implementation

Once a Fair Pay Agreement is finalised and becomes law, it applies to all covered employees and employers. Employers covered by the FPA must ensure that the employment agreements of their covered employees align with or surpass the terms outlined in the FPA.

For more detailed information on Fair Pay Agreements, visit the Employment New Zealand website. Stay informed about your responsibilities as an employer and navigate the FPA process successfully.

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