Working New Zealanders will be a closer to having fairness at work if recommendations from the Government's fair pay working group are delivered, Council of Trade Unions president Richard Wagstaff said.
The group has delivered 46 recommendations to the Government which it says will help see the end of the "race to the bottom" when it comes to wages.
The group, led by former National Prime Minister Jim Bolger, has reported back on the design of a Fair Pay Agreement system which it says would set minimum standards for industries or occupations.
In a statement, Wagstaff said: "New Zealanders deserve jobs that pay enough to live on, with working hours and conditions that allow them to spend time with their families and doing the things outside of paid work that they love."
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Fair Pay Agreements will set minimum standards across an industry or occupation, the CTU said.
The CTU statement quoted supermarket worker Jackie Holt, who said: "It would mean we could afford not only the necessities but also pay our bills on time, run our vehicle and hopefully afford an annual holiday," she said.
"It could afford us with the opportunity to save towards retirement and also for the unexpected needs that might and do happen."
Wagstaff said New Zealanders have been appalled by truck drivers being forced to falsify logbooks to meet contracts, or migrant workers sleeping four to a room, or professionals who can't afford a house or to start a family.
"And while nearly 40 per cent of children in poverty have parents that work, fair pay agreements represent the largest step toward reducing child poverty that this government has taken so far," Wagstaff said.
The Minister of Workplace Relations Iain Lees-Galloway is in the process of considering the group's recommendations, which address the initiation of bargaining, coverage of the agreements, scope and the bargaining process of negotiations.