The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Hospitality New Zealand applies to be FPA bargaining agent 

Hospitality New Zealand has applied to become the bargaining agent for hospitality employers, which would see it enter negotiations on an industry pay arrangement under the Fair Pay Agreements Act.

Hospitality NZ Chief Executive Julie White says it has applied to become the bargaining agent to attempt a result that is fair for all parties.

“It will be challenging to produce an agreement that improves conditions for staff in the current economic environment at no cost to the industry or customers,” she says.

“A single agreement will need to cover nine industries, from cafés to clubs, motels to movie theatres. Beneath that, each industry has its own unique job roles and working habits.”

White says the agreement will need to account for the needs of a student doing casual catering work, and a full-time resort masseuse, all in the same breath.

“An FPA for this sector must fairly represent and reward all kinds of workers, and not penalise or discourage them for their role or style of work.”

White says finding an equitable outcome will require significant thought and planning, as an FPA will need to cover at least 120,000 employees, from bars to luxury hotels.

“It will be one of the largest pay arrangements in the country. Designing it will require time and care, to avoid unfair outcomes.

“We must also consider the impact any agreement could have for workers, business owners and customers.

“Higher pay rates and less flexible conditions will mean higher wage costs, and that could lead to shorter operating hours, less work for staff, and off-peak surcharges for customers.

White says Hospitality NZ is committed to making an agreement fair, for workers, employers, and the public.

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