Unions to protest over tea breaks
"The problem with tea breaks is they are supposed to be 15 minutes not the 30-45 that most employees take"Featured comment
Thousands of workers across the country are expected to protest against changes to employment laws today.
Council of Trade Unions secretary Peter Conway says over 900 workplaces are registered for a tea break event held as part of a broader campaign against new employment laws.
He says workers are outraged at the prospect of losing their tea break and will be able to discuss this with their workmates and share their thoughts online.
“The tea break is essential for rest, a chance to talk to workmates and important for health and safety,” he says.
The Employment Relations Amendment Bill was introduced by National's Minister for Labour Simon Bridges and passed its first reading in June.
The proposed law says employers can impose certain restrictions on employee’s breaks where it is reasonable and necessary "having regard to the nature of the employee’s work."
The bill also allows a return to the original position in the Employment Relations Act where the duty of good faith doesn’t require the conclusion of a collective agreement.
It also allows employers to opt out of multi-employer bargaining and partial pay reductions for partial strike action.
Mr Bridges has said the bill before Parliament is "moderate, centre-right law."