Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says New Zealand First is "very happy" with the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, which will have its second reading in Parliament today.

The bill will end 90-day trials for bigger employers, restores rights to tea and meal breaks and grants unions more access to workplaces.

National has called it a return to the 1970s but it was passed with support from all Government parties at first reading.

It came back from a select committee without any material changes in September, at which point New Zealand First leader Winston Peters described it as a "work in progress".


Following further consultation, Lees-Galloway today said all three Government parties were now happy with the changes.

"There were changes but they were considered changes that are agreed by all three parties of Government.

He said New Zealand First was "very happy. We're all happy".

"I would summarise the changes as reasonable changes that ensure that the bill continues to strengthen workers' rights, strikes a good balance between the needs of businesses and workers and is something that all three parties of Government are very comfortable with," he said.

The law includes provisions to remove the use of 90-day trial periods by businesses with more than 20 employees and a strengthening of the collective bargaining framework and the rights of unions and union members in the workplace.