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(Brought up to the end of the Session of 1908.)











List op Acts


Analysis of Acts ..

. . xii




.. 515

v\H A5


There has been such extensive inquiry for copies of " The Labour
Laws of New Zealand " that previous editions have soon run out of
print, and, as amending statutes appear every session of Parliament,
the work has, every two or three years, to be issued under the new
conditions, and brought up to date. For these reasons the Fifth
Edition is herewith published.

Probably the most important of the labour laws is the Industrial
Conciliation and Arbitration Act. It was first passed in 1894, but
since that date it has been amended almost every year as new difficulties
arose and had to be grappled with. The Act, comprising one of
the statutes consoUdated in 1908. now stands as " The Indus-
trial Conciliation and Arbitration Act, 1908," with amending Act
of the same year, entitled " The Industrial Conciliation and Arbitra-
tion Amendment Act, 1908," to be read with the principal Act. The
Act has been so widely debated, not only in the colonies, but all
over the world, that its general principle need not be explained, and
we can briefly notice the machinery used in carrying out its intention.
Societies consisting of three or more employers, or of fifteen or more
workers, may now be registered and become subject to the provisions
of the Act under the title of " industrial union." Two or more of
these unions may amalgamate, or they may form an industrial associa-
tion for the sake of solidarity. Concihation Commissioners are ap-
pointed by the Government, and to these Commissioners industrial
disputes are to be referred, with power to call together a local Council
of Concihation. This Council consists of a number of experts in the
trade concerned, such number being representative of employers and
workers — one, two, or three on each side. If the proceedings before
the Council do not terminate the dispute, it is automatically referred
to the Arbitration Court. This Court consists of a Judge invested
mth the power and status of a Judge of the Supreme Court, sitting with
two members, one appointed on the recommendation of the employers'
unions, and one on that of the workers' unions. The Court has ex-
ceedingly wide powers in industrial matters, and against its decisions
there is no appeal. The provisions of awards, industrial agreements,
&c., are intrusted to Inspectors of Factories (who are also Inspectors



of Awards) to see that such awards are adhered to ; in case of breach,
prosecutions follow. The statute was considerably amended in the
form of its constitution l)y the amending Act of 1908 ; the sections
dealing with strikes and lockouts were made decisive and compara-
tively clear.

" The Factories Act, 1908," is another consolidation of former
legislation. The Acts passed prior to 1901 dealt ahnost exclusively
with the protection of working women and girls and boys ; but
the existing law takes cognisance also of the working-hours of men,
and arranges for due payment of overtime work. The forty-five-hour
week, w'th restricted overtime, wiiich must be paid for, is insisted on
for women and boys, except in woollen-mills, where forty-eight
hours are allowed ; and if men are employed over forty-eight hours
in one week, overtime must be paid. The wages of young persons,
the statutory holidays (with payment therefor), the regulated hours of
overtime, the sanitation and hygiene of factories, provision of fire-
escapes, drinking-water, (fee, are all carefully arranged for under this
Act. The statutory Iialf-holiday is fixed for Saturday, but may be
altered to the day observed for shops on a poll of the electors of any
local district. " Sweating " has almost disappeared in New Zealand
through the res riction of subcontracts in the issue of textiles to be
made up into garments. The Factories Act is probably one of the
most complete and perfect laws to be found in the statute-book of
any country, and is greatly appreciated by the workers, while the
honest fair-dealing employer is himself protected thereby from the
unscrupulous proceedings of the piratical competitor.

Note. — Any establishment wherein two or more persons work to
produce articles intended for sale is a factory in New Zealand. All
bakehouses, all laundries, all places wherein Asiatics are employed, and
where machinery is used, are also factories, even if only one person is
employed therein. This low limit is made mainly for the purpose of
inspection, in order that the public should not be injured by tainted
food or by clothing manufactured in filthy surroundings.

" The Shops and Offices Act, 1908," is the consolidation of " The
Shops and Offices Act, 1904," with the amending Acts of 1905 and
1907. It is the result of legislative growth on " The Shops and Shop-
assistants Act, 1894." The Act regulates the hours of assistants in
shops, not allowing them to exceed fifty-two hours a week or more
than nine hours a day, with the exception of eleven hours on one day


in the week, and overtime under warrant from the Inspector; over-
time to be paid for. The shops are to be kept clean and well venti-
lated ; certain sanitary conditions must be observed when persons of
different sexes are employed in the same establishment. A weekly
half-holiday is compulsory, the day to be chosen in each local district
l)y the local authority, except where it is fixed by a poll of the elec-
tors. Compulsory closing of shops at any hour on other da\ s is not
insisted on unless under certain conditions whereby each trade in any
district is allowed to settle its closing-hour by a majority vote, or closing
of all shops may be effected by a majority vote of all shopkeepers.
To all young persons wages of 5s. a week must be paid as a minimum,
with an annual increase of 3s. per week until twenty years of age be
reached. Overtime has to be paid for in both shops and offices, but
some establishments, such as banks and shipping offices, are exempt.
The hours of work in shops are subject to awards of the Arbitra-
tion Court. All assistants employed in hotels have a half-holiday
on some working-day in each week.

The Employers' Liability Acts, which were designed to j)TOtect
workers from accident arising through negligence, &c., on the part
of employers or 'their agents, were repealed by " The Workers' Com-
pensation Act, 1908." It had been found that little practical ad-
vantage accrued to injured workers or their families under the Liability
Acts, as most industrial accidents have nothing to do with negligence
or shortcomings of employers ; such accidents are the outcome of
risks incidental to every branch of enterprise and manufacture. The
Workers' Compensation Act does not imply a fault on the part of any
individual ; it only attempts to secure compensation for injury or
death, so that the hardships necessarily ensuing in case of severe injury
to a poor person may be minimised to the sufferer, and (in case of his
death) to the family through the loss or disablement of the bread-
winner. By means of the Workers' Compensation Act, the burden
of industrial accident is borne by the profits of the business in which
the accident occurred. To meet the difficulty of too great expense fall-
ing suddenly on an employer through his having to pay large compen-
sation for accident, provision is made by " The Government Accident
Insurance Act, 1908," and by a State Department which insures
employers against the risk of having to pay compensation for accident.
There are also several private insurance companies in the colonies
which undertake these risks, and are regulated in some degree bv " The


Accident Insurance Companies Act, 1908."" The Workers' Compen-
sation Act allows compensation up to £500 in case of death, or of
total incapacity through accident ; but the Second Schedule of the
Act enumerates the ratio of compensation for certain injuries in com-
parison with total incapacity : thus, " Total loss of a leg, 75 per cent. ;
total loss of forefinger of the right hand, 20 per cent.," &c. " Con-
tracting out " is permitted — that is to say, another scheme of com-
pensation may be substituted for those in the Act if it has been ap-
proved of by the Arbitration Court ; " The Deaths by Accident Com-
pensation Act. 1908," and " The Judicature Act. 1908." also bear on
this subject.

" The Wages Protection and Contractors' Liens Act, 1908," is a
consolidation of statutes previovisly known as " The Truck Act, 1891 ":
" The Contractors and Workmen's Lien Act, 1892 " ; " The Work-
men's Wages Act, 1893 " ; " The Threshing-machine Owners' Lien
Act, 1895 " ; " The Wages Attachment Act, 1895 " ; and " The Wages
Protection Act, 1899." The consolidated Act guards the interest of
workers in the following directions : —

(1.) It insures the payment of weekly wages unless there is a

written agreement to the contrary.
(2.) It permits attachment of moneys in hands of employers when

wages are in arrears.
(3.) It prohibits attachnient of a worker's wages except in the case
of any surplus exceeding £2 per week.

(This, however, has been affected by section 20 of " The
Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Amendment Act,
1908," in whidi the surplus above £1 per week in the case
of unmarried men may be attached by judgment in the
Magistrate's Court.)
(4.) It prohibits payments for wages being made in goods (truck)

or in any other way than in money or by approved cheque.
(5.) It entitles a contractor, or subcontractor, or worker to a lien
on the lands or chattels of his employer upon giving due
notice, and the employer must then retain in his hands
sufficient of the contract-moneys to satisfy and guarantee
payment of the claimant's dues.
(6.) If the cost of threshing a crop is not paid to the workers em-
ployed in threshing it, the cost of threshing can be made a
charge on the proceeds of the realisation of such crop.


(7.) No deduction from workers' wages may be made for purposes
of insurance against compensation for accident.

Liens to be imposed as security for miners' wages or earnings are
dealt with under " The Mining Act, 1908 " (extracts from), and " The
Coal-mines Act, 1908 " (extracts from).

" The Public Contracts and Local Bodies' Contractors Act, 1908 "
(extracts from), provides that in every contract let by a pubhc body,
such as His Majesty's Government, an Education Board, Harbour
Board, municipahty, &c., the contractor must observe such length
for the working-day, and jiay such rates to his employees for wages,
overtime, hoUdays, &c., as are generally considered usual and fair
in that locality, or as fixed by the Court of Arbitration for the
industrial district, whether the contractor is or is not a party to the

Priority of payment for wages or salaries in preference to other
debts is insured by " The Companies Act, 1908," in the event of the
winding-up of a company.

No wages or payments of any kind may be made to workers in a
publichouse or other premises licensed for the sale of alcoholic liquors ;
penalties are provided under " The Licensing Act, 1908," for any
such payment.

" The Kauri-gum Industry Act, 1908," regulates the conditions
under which the fossil gum of the giant kauri-pine is dug and
disposed of for sale. It specifies the different classes of settlers who
may obtain licenses for digging gum, the varieties of licenses to sell
and dig gum, and the particular lands on which the right to dig
gum may be exercised.

" The Shearers' and Agricultural Labourers' Accommodation Act,
1908," entails on Inspectors the duty of inspecting shearing-sheds
and homesteads on farms, runs, and stations throiighout the
Dominion. Proper sleeping accommodation, ventilation, and sani-
tation must be provided both for the wandering workmen utilised
during the early summer as shearers, and for the fixed farm -assist ants
who need wholesome dwellings the whole year round. If no pro-
vision is made, or if the accommodation is insufficient, formal notice
has to be served on the owner or occupier in regard to the improvements
to be effected, and, if the notice is disregarded or not fully complied
with, the offender can be brought before a Magistrate and fined.


The licenses of registry oftices for domestic or farm servants are
regulated l)y " The Servants' Registry Offices Act, 1908." This Act
prevents friendless or unediicated servants from becoming the prey
of unscrupulous persons so far as engagements for employment, &c.,
are concerned. Applicants for licenses as registry-office keepers have
to pay a fee to the Government, and to present a certificate of good
character. Proper ledgers and account-books, open to inspection,
must be provided. Registry-oflfice keepers are not allowed to keep
lodginghouses for servants, or have any interest in such houses.

" The Shipping and Seamen Act, 1908," contains all the existing
legal provisions affecting the protection of life at sea of both sailors
and passengers. The Act regulates the appointment of pilots, ships'
officers and engineers, the engagement and discharge of sailors, the
ventilation, sanitation, &c., of ships, overloading vessels, and the
number of duly rated hands to be engaged in proportion to tonnage.
The Act endeavours to prevent injustice to the sailor as to advance-
notes or payments in foreign money, and also specifies penalties to
be inflicted for desertion, disobedience, &c.

" The Inspection of Machinery Act, 1908," has, as its name impUes,
the oversight of all machinery, boilers, &c., whether on land or water.
It also provides for proper persons being in charge of machinery, &c.,
and for certificates of engineers and others in charge of engines and

" The Labour Department and Labour Day Act, 1908," defines
the statutory existence of the Labour Department. The duties of
that Department are to administer the labour laws, and to furnish
information on all industrial matters, while power is given to certain
of its officers to collect statistics with the authority wherewith a Crown
Commissioner is invested. " Labour Day " is a public holiday hereby
fixed as being the second Wednesday in October of each year.

" The Master and Apprentice Act, 190.8," applies mainly to the
indenturing of young persons to employers, such children being the
offspring of destitute parents. In other respects the law of England
is held to be the law governing the relations between master and
apprentice in this Dominion, but this is tempered by awards of the
Arbitration Court which allot the ratio of apprentices to journeymen
engaged. Special sections of the Act apply to the punishment of
apprentices for absenting themselves from duty, and to the fine of a
master for neglecting or ill-using his apprentice.


" The Crimes Act, 1908 " (extracts), in some sections relates to
the proper care of apprentices by their masters ; l)ut this Act also
refers to the position of legal and illegal combinations for trade
purposes, and thus partly supersedes " The Conspiracy Law Amend-
ment Act. 1894." The real position, however, of combinations
among employers or workmen in restraint of trade is niore effectively
dealt with Ity " The Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Amend-
ment Act, 1908," in which the practical control of strikes and
lockouts (so far as workers are afliected) is attempted with considerable
minuteness of detail.

" The Trade-unions Act, 1908," although unrepealed, is not of
paramount importance, because most of the trade-unions have become
industrial unions under the Arbitration Act. the few remaining on
the Trade-union Register continuing to do so mostly on account
of having frieiidly-society benefits under their old rules.

" The Police Ofiences Act, 1908," also contains certain restrictive
measures dealing with conspiracy in regard to supply of light and

" The Scaffolding Inspection Act, 1908," gives power for the
appointment of Inspectors to examine scaffolding and gear used in the
erection or repair of buildings, ships, &c., and to see that all due pre-
caution is used for the prevention of accidents, and to insure safety
of workers' lives and limbs.

" The Workers' Dwellings Act, 1908," contains the provisions
necessary to allow land to be acquired and set apart for the erection of
homes for workers. The land is acquired under " The Land for Settle-
ments Act, 1908 " (extracts published herewith) ; the houses may not
exceed £400 in cost ; the applicant must not be in receipt of wages
exceeding £200 per annum.

The Advances to Workers Acts are now merged in " The Govern-
ment Advances to Settlers Act, 1908," but it is not published herewith.

Holidays for workers in the different trades are regulated generally
under awards of the Arbitration Court, but by statute are referred to
in the Factories, Shops, and other general Acts. Special enactments
concerning them are to l>e found in " The Licensing Act, 1908 " (ex-
tracts) ; in "The Legislature Act. 1908" (extracts); and in " The
Hankino- Act, 1908 " (extracts).


Secretary for Labour.




Accident Insurance Companies Act,

Banking Act, 1908 (extracts)

Bankruptcy Act, 1908 (sees. 112 and
120, re wages of employees)

Coal-mines Act, 1908 (extracts)

Coal-mines Amendment Act, 1908 . .

Companies Act, 1908 (sees. 1 and
249, re wages of employees of com-
panies that are being wound up)

Crimes Act, 1908 (sees. 89 and 168,
re conspiracy in trade disputes, re
masters and apprentices)

Deaths by Accidents Compensation
Act, 1908

Factories Act, 1908

Industrial Conciliation and Arbitra-
tion Act, 1908

Industrial Conciliation and Arbitra-
tion Amendment Act. 1908
Inspection of Machinery Act, 1908

Inspection of Machinery Amend-
ment Act, 1908

Judicature Act, 1908 (sec. 100, re
accidents compensation)

Kauri-gum Industry Act, 1908

Labour Department and Labour

Day Act, 1908
Land for Settlements Act, 1908

(sec. IG)
Legislature Act, 1908 (sec. 123, re

holiday on election day)

Acts consolidaterl.

Accident Insurance Companies Act,

Bank Holidays Act, 1902 . .
Bankruptcy Act, 1892 (sees. 112 and

Coal-mines Compilation Act, 1905

Companies Act, 1903 (sees. 1 and

Conspiracy Law Amendment Act,
1894; Criminal Code Act, 1893
(sees. 150 and 213)

Deaths by Accidents Compensation
Act, 1880 ; Legitimation Act, 1894
(sec. 6)

Factories Act, 1901 ; Factories
Amendment Act, 1902 ; Factories
Act Amendment Act, 1905 ; Fac-
tories Act Amendment Act, 1906 ;
Factories Act Amendment Act,

Industrial Conciliation and Arbitra-
tion Acta Compilation Act, 1905

Industrial Conciliation and Arbitra-
tion Amendment Act, 1905 ; In-
dustrial Conciliation and Arbitra-
tion Amendment Act, 1906

Inspection of Machinery Act, 1902 ;
Inspection of Machinery Act
Amendment Act, 1903

Accidents Compensation Act, 1901

Kauri-gum Industry Act, 1898 ;
Kauri-gum Industry Act Amend-
ment Act, 1899 ; Kauri-gum In-
dustry Amendment Act, 1902 ;
Kauri gum Industry Amendment
Act, 1903

Labour Day Act, 1899 ; Labour De-
partment Act, 1903

Land for Settlements Consolidation
Act, 1900 (sec. 13)

Electoral Act, 1905 (sec. 115)

List of Acts — continued.



Acts consolidated.


Licensing Act, 1908 (extracts)

Master and Apprentice Act, 1908

(see also Crimes Act, sec. 168)
Mining Act, 1908 (extracts)

Police Offences Act, 1908 (sees. 1
and 24, re combinations affecting
supply of light or water)

Public Contracts and Local Bodies'
Contractors Act, 1908 (extracts)

Scaffolding Inspection Act, 1908 . .

Servants' Registry Offices Act, 1908
Shearers' and Agricultural Labourers'
Accommodation Act, 1908

Shipping and Seamen Act, 1908

Shops and Offices Act, 1908

Trade-unions Act, 1908 . .

Wages Protection and Contractors'
Liens Act, 1908

Workers' Compensation Act, 1908
Workers' Dwellings Act, 1908

Licensing Act, 1881 (sec. 131) ; Alco- | 210
holic Liquors Sale Control Act j
Amendment Act, 1895 (sec. 10)

Master and Apprentice Act, 1865 . . 210

Mining Act Compilation Act, 1905; i 221
Mining Act Amendment Act, 1905

Conspiracy Law Amendment Act, 262

Public Contracts Act, 1900

Scaffolding Inspection Act, 1906 ;
Scaffolding Inspection Act Amend-
ment Act, 1907

Servants' Registry Offices Act, 1895

Shearers' Accommodation Act, 1898;
Agricultural Labourers' Accom-
modation Act, 1907

Shipping and Seamen Act, 1903 ;
Shipping and Seamen Act Amend-
ment Act, 1905

Shops and Offices Act, 1904 ; Shops
and Offices Act Amendment Act,
1905 ; Shops and Offices Act
Amendment Act, 1907

Trade-union Act, 1878 ; Trade-union
Act 1878 Amendment Act, 1896

Contractors' and Workmen's Lien
Act, 1892 ; Threshing-machine
Owners' Lien Act, 1895 ; Truck
Act, 1891 ; Wages Attachment
Act, 1895 ; Wages Protection Act,
1899 ; Workmen's Wages Act,

(This Act amends and repeals the
consolidated Act of 1908)

Workers' Dwellings Act, 1905 ;
Workers' Dwellings Act Amend-
ment Act, 1905 ; Workers' Dwell-
ings Act Amendment Act, 1906










NKW zp:alani) i.abouk laws.



The Accident Insurance Companies Act, 1908 . . . . 1

1. Short Title. Enactments consolidated. Savings.

2. Iuteri)!etation.

3. Company to prepare annual statement.

4. Printed statement to be de}josited with Minister.

5. Further information to be given if required.
(3. Statements to be laid before Parliament.

7. Penalty in default.

S. Penalty for signing false statement.

9. Penalties recoverable summaril,y.

10. Commissioner's powers.

11. Policies free of stamp duty.

The Banking Act,, 1908 .. .. ..5

Bank Holidays.

23. Bank holidays.

24. Special bank holidays.

25. Employees not to be employed on bank holidays.

The Bankruptcy Act, 1908 . . . . . . . . 7

112. Gierks, &c., may prove for s- lary, &c., beyond preferential claim.

Application of Assets when realised.

120. Moneys to be aj^plied by Assignee in payment of costs and expenses of
Assignee ; costs of petitioning creditor ; costs of petitioning debtor ;
supervisor's and Assignee's commission ; rent due. on certain cor-
ditions ; wages of clerk or ssrvant ; wages of artisan ; fee payable
to apprentice ; provable debts ; interest on proved debts ; surplus
to bankrupt.

The Coal-mines Act, 1908 . . . . . . . . . . 9

1. Short T'tle. Enactments consolidat?d.

2. Interpretation.

3. Bed of river deemed vested in Crowr.

Regulation of Mines.

23. Inspectors. Concurrent powers of Inspectors of Machinery and

Inspectors of Mines.

24. Mine-manager. Deputy manager. Name of mr-nager to be posted r.t


25. Board of Examiners.

26. Application for Certificate. First- and second-class certificates.

27. Mine-manager to be holder of certificate or i)ermit.
28 Certificates from beyond New Zealand.


The Coal-mines Act, B()8— continued. i'"*?*^

2'J. Eiigiiio-diivcrs' certificates.

30. OfficiiU inqiiiiies in case of accidents.

31. Offences.

32. No female or boy to be employed in any mine.

33. Youths not to be employed in certaii' cases.

34. Youth under eighteen not to work engine, &c., in certain cases.

35. Persons in charge of steam machinery to be employed cert?iin number

of hours only.

36. Register of youths employed below ground.

37. Offence to employ youths or boys in breach of Act, &c.

38. Overtime for underground work.

39. Employment of manual labour on .Sunday prohibited. Cases in which

Inspector may grant permission. Right of appeal. Penalty. Other
provision not affected.

Online LibraryNew ZealandThe labour laws of New Zealand (brought up to the end of the session of 1908) → online text (page 1 of 67)