New Zealand Law Society - Collective bargaining rights for screen sector works to be restored

Collective bargaining rights for screen sector works to be restored

This article is over 3 years old. More recent information on this subject may exist.

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says the Government will restore collective bargaining rights.for screen sector workers. 

“Screen workers lost their right to support each other in negotiations through collective bargaining when the ‘Hobbit law’ was implemented by the National Government in 2010," he says.

Mr Lees-Galloway says the Film Industry Working Group has unanimously agreed on a model that means screen sector workers can continue as contractors, but will gain the right to negotiate collectively using good faith bargaining and a dispute resolution scheme.

Information released by MBIE says the key aspects of the new model are:

  • Whether a screen sector worker is a contractor or employee will continue to be determined solely by the type of written agreement they have. In practice, this means workers can carry on as contractors, with the continued flexibility this provides.
  • New universal terms will apply to all contract relationships in the screen industry. These relate to good faith between parties; protection from bullying, discrimination and harassment; fair and reasonable contract termination; and fair rates of pay.
  • Contractors will be able bargain collectively at occupational and enterprise levels, with clear processes covering how bargaining is initiated, carried out and concluded.
  • A tiered dispute resolution system will support parties to resolve issues.

MBIE says the proposed model will go through detailed legislative design and the Parliamentary process, and is subject to change. Parliament is expected to pass the changes into law in mid-2020.