In 2015 an amendment was made to the Employment Relations Act to change rest and meal break regulation. It ensured workers would still get breaks but removed overly restrictive rules around the duration and time of breaks making them more flexible and practical, and enabling employers and employees to negotiate and agree on them.
The Government plans to reverse those changes and return to strict meal break rules that give no employees choice, for example, whether they have to take an “afternoon tea” break at 3am during their night shift instead of going home early.
This means workers and businesses will have less flexibility about how to structure their day to get their job done.
"We are part of the global economy. We need to be agile enough to remain competitive now and into the future. Flexible work arrangements, life-long learning and embracing technology all feed into growing our productivity," says Kim Campbell, CEO, EMA.