Designing a Fair Pay Agreements system discussion paper

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Submissions due: 27 November 2019, 5pm

The Government is seeking feedback on options for the detailed design of a Fair Pay Agreements system.


The discussion paper seeks feedback on a range of options for the design of a Fair Pay Agreements system. 

A Fair Pay Agreement would be a set of occupation and sector-specific minimum employment standards, such as wages, redundancy, or overtime. These would be agreed through bargaining between affected workers and employers, and would then become legal requirements in that sector.

We want to know what you think of the options outlined in the consultation paper, including whether the system will be effective and what the impacts would be on you or your organisation. Your feedback will inform the Government’s ongoing work to explore the best possible design of a Fair Pay Agreements system.

What we are consulting on

We want to hear what you think of the options described in the discussion document.

Last year, the Government brought together worker and employer representatives together with experts in collective bargaining and law to form the Fair Pay Agreements Working Group. This Group delivered a report to the Government in December 2018.  Since then, the Government has considered its recommendations and undertaken detailed policy work. We have focused on areas where the Working Group’s recommendations needed further detail, or where additional work was needed to make the proposed system as effective and workable as possible.

The discussion paper works through the Working Group’s model, exploring more detailed options and open questions to develop their recommendations. A Fair Pay Agreements system will be made up of many different parts. We want hear your thoughts on the individual elements and the model as a whole. Which options do you prefer? What are the risks and potential benefits? What impacts could a Fair Pay Agreement have on your job or business?

Our discussion document explores options and questions in six areas:

You’ll be interested in this discussion paper if …

  • You are working in a sector or occupation that may be impacted by a Fair Pay Agreement. This includes sectors with poor outcomes for workers which could benefit from more coordination.

  • You are a business owner or manager of a business that may be impacted by a Fair Pay Agreement. This includes businesses that employ workers in sectors where businesses compete on low wages and working conditions.

  • You are a union representative or an advocate for workers’ rights.

  • You are a business or industry representative.

  • You are, or advocate for, any of the groups of workers we expect might be particularly affected by Fair Pay Agreements: women, Māori, Pasifika, people with disabilities, senior workers and youth.

  • You are a consumer advocate, particularly concerning products and services whose prices may be affected by higher wages and working conditions in some sectors.

How to make a submission

Submissions close at 5pm on 27 November 2019.

You can tell us what you think by:

  • Downloading the submission form and sending your submission as a Microsoft Word document to

  • Mailing your submission to:
    Employment Relations Policy team
    Labour and Immigration Policy
    Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment
    PO Box 1473
    Wellington 6140

Your submission may respond to some or all of the issues. You do not have to respond to every section or answer all of the questions. We want to know how the options would impact you or your organisation.  Please describe the impacts – in terms of costs and benefits – in as concrete terms as you can.

Please download the submission form here. If you choose to write a submission without using the submission form, please include your name and (if applicable) the name of your organisation in your submission, as well as contact details so that we can follow up if we have further questions. If you would like your personal details to remain confidential, please state this in your submission.

Please direct any questions that you have about the submissions process to

What happens after you have sent your submission?

Officials from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will collect all submissions sent by the closing date. These submissions will be analysed and will help to develop the final proposals for the Government to consider.