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Rule 19:
Improving conditions for New Zealand workers

Explains the circumstances where agencies must incorporate priority outcome 3.

  1. Agencies should ensure their contracts set out the expectation that suppliers and subcontractors comply with employment standards and health and safety requirements.
  2. For designated contracts, agencies must require their suppliers to ensure and demonstrate that they, and their domestic supply chain, comply with all relevant employment standards and health and safety requirements.
  3. Agencies must have regard to guidance published by MBIE on ensuring compliance with employment standards and health and safety requirements in government contracts.
  4. Agencies must conduct sufficient monitoring of designated contracts to ensure that commitments made in contracts for ensuring good conditions for workers are delivered and reported on.

Find out what the designated contracts for this Rule are, on the broader outcomes page.

Health and safety

Agencies and their suppliers in New Zealand all have responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, and applicable regulations and codes of practice. An effective way to meet these obligations is to engage early with suppliers that demonstrate good health and safety practices, and establish contracts that meet health and safety requirements under the Act.

Talk to your suppliers about how health and safety will be managed through their supply chain. Often your supplier will have subcontractors who will actually carry out the work.

Employment standards

To incentivise suppliers with good labour practices, agencies should ensure that all workers employed to fulfil the requirements of government contracts are treated fairly and are not exploited. This includes compliance with New Zealand labour laws, such as the Employment Relations Act 2000, the Minimum Wage Act 1983 and the Holidays Act 2003. In addition, agencies need to apply a greater level of due diligence in assuring that employment standards are being met for the designated contracts. This is because these contracts demonstrate some of the underlying characteristics associated with employment standards breaches and labour exploitation, e.g. low-wage occupations and business models that rely on low-wage contracting and casual employment.

Check the guidance for the list of designated contracts, the definition of a domestic supply chain, and overview of requirements on the broader outcomes page.

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