Right now, in New Zealand, there are a lot of working people who are missing out on basic rights at work. That’s because they’ve been hired as contractors instead of employees by companies who are taking advantage of how the law currently works. Those contractors do the same work as employees - sometimes they work alongside them. But contractors can be paid less, fired more easily and don’t receive holidays, sick leave or KiwiSaver contributions.
This kind of “dependent” contracting is happening to cleaners, security guards, food workers, couriers, drivers, IT workers and many others.
And because contractors can have their contract cancelled with little or no notice (unlike employees) they find it harder to ask for better conditions. If they do, they might be dumped.
Right now the Government is asking for feedback on some options to strengthen legal protections for contractors. They’ve got 79 specific questions they want to ask. But we think it boils down to three key points.
- Do more to stop people being wrongly employed as contractors.
- Give all contractors the power to bargain collectively (like unions do) so they can improve their conditions.
- Don’t create a new legal category between contractor and employer - that will just make it worse.
You can read more about those 3 points here. And the Government’s consultation is only open until Friday 14 February 2020. Use the form opposite now to send you views to them. Let them hear about the reality for contactors and dependent contractors so they provide protections for all working people!