Hospitality Sector Employment Agreement will be ‘Scarily Complex’

According to Hospitality New Zealand, a “Fair Pay” Agreement between workers and employers in hospitality will be tough to conclude because of the scale and complexity of the sector.

Hospitality NZ Chief Executive Julie White said any agreement will need to cover thousands of different jobs in 17,000 businesses that operate across vastly different formats, from accommodation to night clubs and specialty interests.

“In the thirty years since collective bargaining, the sector has changed beyond recognition. There are dozens of new formats of hospitality, and hundreds of new types of jobs. Coming up with a single agreement covering thousands of different work situations will be scarily complex, White explained.

“If an FPA is discussed for this industry, we’re going to make sure it’s fair for everyone. Our society has changed, and hospitality has changed to meet it - serving New Zealanders wherever, whenever, and however they want.

“Unions will be surprised how far employees have changed. People proudly tailor the work to suit their needs. Some see hospo as a career, some as a lifestyle, others as casual or seasonal income, and some bank the skills for their CV.

“A big development has been ‘job stacking’, where staff choose to undertake a range of very different jobs for the same organisation, taking bookings one day and dish washing the next.

“Any agreement needs to fairly represent and reward workers, and not penalise or discourage their choices.

“We must be sure any agreement recognises the full breadth of work conducted by employees, and does not force them into a box they don’t belong in.”