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Contractor Bill confused - BusinessNZ

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

BusinessNZ says a new Bill coming up for vote in Parliament is confused. The Contractor Bill could be passed into law next week, as a result of a vote switch by MP Peter Dunne.

BusinessNZ says the Contractor Bill aims to pay contractors a minimum wage, but is based on a confusion and would end up harming contractors instead.

The proposed restriction on contracts would make many contracts unworkable and would cause confusion and uncertainty in industries using contracts for services, including building, construction, manufacturing, forestry, cleaning services, transport and delivery and many others.

BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope says the Contractor Bill assumes a contractor always has only one contract with one client, and assumes that the single client should be paying an equivalent of the minimum wage or more.

"But most contractors provide their services to many clients, not just one. For example, an electrician providing a mix of different services to multiple clients - over a working week, the electrician might engage with many different businesses or clients, to earn a combined total income well above the minimum wage.

"The Contractor Bill also assumes that many contractors are actually employees and so should get minimum wage protections - it assumes they have agreed to an illegal contract. But there is already legislation to protect people who are illegally engaged as contractors so the Contractor Bill is not needed for this.

"The Contractor Bill would be bad for the economy and would harm contractors’ ability to work and earn.

"The Bill is suddenly in the position of possibly becoming law as early as next week - without there being any public discussion on it - as a result of a recent decision to switch vote by MP Peter Dunne.

"This is a poor Bill which would result in the state setting minimum prices for contracts for services."

- Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill

Kirk Hope explains why the Contractor Bill is flawed:

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