Tea breaks “disruptive”

Unions are concerned by Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson’s announcement yesterday that the law guaranteeing meal and rest breaks would be changed because it leads to disruptions in workplaces. Wilkinson said the law was too prescriptive and it would be changed to increase flexibility.
“We believe the parties could work this matter out in a sensible way within the new law and should be supported to do so rather than deny large groups of workers what many considered was already a standard work right,” said CTU President Helen Kelly.
“Workers are becoming increasingly concerned at the pattern of changes to their interests at work – the 90 day law, cuts to ACC, moves to sell the fourth week annual leave, and now this – putting rest and meal breaks at risk.”
“We have not seen the proposed changes in detail but the Government’s press release looks ominous. To deny groups like pharmacies, schools, meat works and sole attendant operations such as petrol stations the right to rest or meal breaks looks like a gutting of the new and very welcomed rest break provisions.”

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