The rollercoaster ride: recent employment relations changes in New Zealand

Lamm, Felicity, Le Queux, Stéphane, Rasmussen, Erling, and Tipples, Rupert (2011) The rollercoaster ride: recent employment relations changes in New Zealand. Chronique Internationale de l'IRES, 132. pp. 29-41.

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Abstract

Radical employment changes make New Zealand an interesting theoretical and empirical 'case' on how path-breaking adjustment can be achieved within a national economy though whether it has been a successful transformation is still debated by overseas and New Zealand researchers. The article provides an overview of public policy reforms, trends in collective bargaining and union membership, employer strategies and attitudinal changes and some of the highly discussed labour market issues and trends. This overview highlights how far employment relations have shifted since the mid 1980s with public and private sector differences growing and with workplace and individualised arrangements dominating private sector employment relations. It also indicates the negative consequences of having employer-driven flexibility as a driving force for issues surrounding low labour productivity. This alludes to burning labour market such as long working hours, a significant income distribution gap, the 'brain drain', and how work-life balance and stress have become part of media and popular debates. With the current government’s renewed attack on individual employee rights it is concluded that is unlikely that a broadly based employment relations consensus, and thus public policy stability, will be re-established in New Zealand in the near future.

Item ID: 19131
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: New Zealand industrial relations
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Title in French: Nouvelle-Zélande. Marché du travail: une dérégulation en montagnes russes

Abstract in French: Pour les observateurs, la Nouvelle- Zélande se présente comme une « expérimentation » de laboratoire: il y a vingt ans, il s'agissait d'une des économies les plus régulées de l'OCDE; c'est aujourd'hui l’une des économies les plus dérégulées. Ce mouvement s'est fait « en montagnes russes », avec une première dérégulation radicale dans les années 1990, une tentative de rééquilibrage en 2000 puis un nouveau tournant libéral en 2008. Le tout a bien entendu eu un impact profond sur le travail, les droits au travail et le syndicalisme.

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ISSN: 1285-087X
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2011 02:07
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1503 Business and Management > 150306 Industrial Relations @ 100%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9104 Management and Productivity > 910401 Industrial Relations @ 100%
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