Unworkable, Onerous and Misplaced law change could affect you!

17 August 2016

Stop the Contractor Bill

Your ability to negotiate and determine your own contract rates could be compromised by the  Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill as early as next week if passed by Parliament.

Restrictions on contracts

The Contractor Bill would place restrictions on contracts, requiring any payment terms to be higher than the minimum wage.  This sounds like a good protection to have, but in practice it would simply harm many industries.

What would be the result if the Contractor Bill was passed?

Unworkable contracts - It would make many contracts unworkable, for example it would affect the ability of contractors to provide the option of discounting their services for valued clients, because the state would be setting the minimum price of a contract.

Industry costs - It would mean contract work would be unable to be carried out in many industries, causing confusion and uncertainty in industries based on contract work, e.g. building, construction, manufacturing, forestry, cleaning services, transport and delivery and many others

Removing choice - It would remove the choice for contractors to price a job in in a way suitable for them and would lead to many smaller scale contracts not being performed at all. 

Blurring the line between contracts and employment agreements - It would mean contracts for services would have to specify rates of pay per timeframe.  This would require new tax rates for contractors and would also require other employment laws to be applied to contractors.

Confusion with employment agreements

The correct place to have minimum wage protections is in employment agreements.  Every employment agreement in NZ must pay at the minimum wage or higher.  This is a practical protection for every NZ employee.

It’s not practical to try to put minimum wage protections in contractors’ contracts.  Doing so would prevent contracts from working properly, and would cause widespread confusion between between contracts and employment agreements.

Stop the Contractor Bill

The Contractor Bill is a private member’s Bill put forward by the Labour Party, and supported by the Green, NZ First and Maori Parties. It is opposed by National and ACT. 

The recent decision by Peter Dunne MP to support the Contractor Bill means it now has a majority of one vote in Parliament and could therefore become law next week.

It is important that public attention is drawn to the destructive effects of the Contractor Bill.  Contact your MP, write to Peter Dunn MP ( Peter.Dunne@parliament.govt.nz ) and make sure your concerns are heard!

View the Bill here

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