Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of a pay reduction for senior leaders in Government and the Public Service, Cabinet agreed that visible pay restraint in the public sector is an appropriate response to the COVID-19 context.

Pay restraint is the right thing to do in these unprecedented times when many in the private sector are losing their jobs or facing significant pay reductions. On 28 April 2020 the State Services Commissioner wrote to Public Service chief executives setting out principles and guidance on pay restraint in Public Service. Crown Entity chief executives have been asked to take the same approach. These letters can be viewed below under Related Files.

This is additional guidance for chief executives and supplements the Government Expectations on Employment Relations in the State Sector, which Cabinet agreed in March 2018. The Government Expectations form the basis of the State Services Commission’s advice, approval and reporting regarding employment relations in the State sector.

In line with the Government Expectations, the State Services Commissioner updated his delegation of the power to negotiate collective agreements, to Public Service Chief Executives. The letter and the delegation can be found below.

Information on employment legislation: Information on the Employment Relations Act 2000 and related legislation and on minimum employment rights in New Zealand can be accessed through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Employment New Zealand website.The site contains useful guides to key employment processes, including collective and individual bargaining and minimum holiday and other leave entitlements. This site also has a link to the employment law database where copies of decisions of the Employment Relations Authority and the Employment Court can be accessed. 

See www.legislation.govt.nz for copies of the Employment Relations Act 2000 and all other New Zealand statutes.

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