New Zealand.

Labour Laws online

. (page 1 of 39)
Online LibraryNew ZealandLabour Laws → online text (page 1 of 39)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project
to make the world's books discoverable online.

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover.

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the
publisher to a library and finally to you.

Usage guidelines

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for
personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it.

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About Google Book Search

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web

at http : //books . google . com/|

Digitized by


Digitized by


•: -VT," "" • ir"

Digitized by


Digitized by











Digitized by


JUL 3 1908

Digitized by



The Labour Laws have been passed in the effort to regulate
certain conditions affecting employer and employed. Their
scope embraces many difficult positions into which the exigencies
of modern industrial life have forced those engaged in trades
and handicrafts. The general tendency of these lawi* is to
ameliorate the position of the worker by preventing social
oppression through undue influences, or through unsatisfactory
conditions of sanitation. It will undoubtedly be found that,
with the advance of time, these laws are capable of improve-
ment and amendment; but they have already done much to
make the lives of operatives of fuller and more healthy growth,
and their aim is to prevent the installation of abuses before
such abuses attain formidable dimensions.

The manufacturing population in New Zealand differs from
that in some other of the Australasian Colonies by its wide
dispersion. The capital city has hitherto been unable to draw
to itself the industrial ability of the other provincial centres;
and not only do Auckland, Christchurch, and Dunedin vie
with Wellington as centres of population, but also as nuclei
of commercial activity. In the second-class towns, such as
Nelson,. Napier, Invercargill, &c., many important works are
being carried on, while even in the villages and rural districts
the progress of new settlement necessitates the manufacture of
articles which in older communities are produced in specialised
localities. Men scattered widely at the numerous occupations
of colonial country life, shearing, harvesting, bush-felling, road-
making, or sailing coastal vessels, &c., require legal protection
against the dangers and disabilities to which their callings

Digitized by


expose them. This general dispersion of industry necessitates
not only a wide system of supervision, but legislative measures
of a peculiar character, at once sufficiently elastic to comprehend
many varieties of function, and yet rigid to crush any apparent

The most important of these laws in its general significance
is that dealing with compulsory arbitration in labour disputes.
"The Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act, 1894" (with
its amending Act of 1895), exists for the purpose of encouraging
industrial association, and to facilitate the settlement of trade
difficulties. Societies consisting of five or more employers, or
of seven or more workers, may be registered and become subject
to the jurisdiction of the Board and Court appointed by the
Act. Any such society may bring a disputed case before the
Board of Conciliation appointed for that district, and, if the
Board fails to effect a settlement, the dispute may be referred
to the Court of Arbitration, whose award may be enforced in
the same manner as an award of the Supreme Court. The
amount, however, for which such an award may be enforced
against an association is limited to £500.

'' The Factories Act, 1894," is a consolidation of previous
legislation, with some important additions. New Zealand Has
been divided into factory districts under the charge of a Chief
Inspector and 163 local Inspectors. As a " factory" or " work-
room " includes any place in which two or more persons are
engaged in working for hire or reward in any handicraft, there
are few operatives who do not conie within the scope of the Act.
Children under fourteen years of age are not allowed to be em-
ployed, and the hours of labour, holidays, &c., of women and
youths under sixteen are strictly regulated. Good ventilation,
sanitary accommodation, and general cleanliness of buildings
are points dwelt upon; while machinery has to be properly
guarded, fire-escapes provided, and dangerous occupations espe-
cially classified. In order to assist the system of free general
education which prevails in the colony, young persons are not
allowed to work in factories till they have passed the Fourth
Standard of the State schools or an equivalent examination.
To prevent the introduction of "sweating" into our commercial
centres, articles made or partly made in private dwellings, or

Digitized by


tint'egisteriBd workshop^, feavfe t6 be labelled when offered for sale^
so that goods so manufactured (often in unsanitary premises)
may not be placed in the market in competition with work done
in properly inspected factories. Any person removing such
labels is liable to a heavy fine. The Factory Inspectors also
exercise supervision over the sleeping accommodation provided
for shearers in country districts. As the sheep-runs and farm^
are widely scattered, sometimes in the rough and remote back-
country, this part of the work of inspection is no easy task. A
woman Inspector of Factories also, gives her assistance to the
duties of the department, travelling from place to place, and
particularly looking into the condiiion of the operative women
and girls.

The duration of the hours of business in shops is limited by
"The Shops and Shop-assistants Act, 1894,^' and "The Shops and
Shop-assistants Act Amendment Act, 1895." These provide for
the closing of all shops in towns and boroughs for one afternoon
half -holiday in each week. A few shops, such as those of chemists,
fruiterers, eating-house keepers, &c., are exempted from the
general closing on account of their convenience to the public;
but assistants in such establishments, in the bars of hotels, and
in country stores, must have a half-holiday on some day of the
week. Very small shops carried on by Europeans without paid
assistants are also exempt from closing on the general half-
holiday, but must close on one afternoon in each week. The
hours of work for women and young persons are defined ;
sitting accommodation must be provided, and precautions as to
the necessary time for meals, sanitary accommodation, &c., are
enforced ; the Act also enumerates the working- hours, holidays,
&e., of clerks employed in banks, mercantile offices, &c.

"The Employers' Liability Act, 1882,^' added to and amended
in 1891 and 1892, is designed to protect workmen from negligence
on the part of employers by defining under what circumstances
compensation for injury or death may be recoverable. The Act
covers all employments except that of domestic servant, and
does not allow of any " contracting out '' by agreement on the
part of employer and employed. Another Act of this character
has regard to the payment of workmen's wages, and states that
if a workman shall demand payment of wages twenty-four hours

Digitized by



or more after they are due, and the contractor does not pay such
wages, the workman may legally attach all moneys due to the
contractor- by the employer until such wages are paid. " The
Truck Act, 1891," requires that payment of wages shall not be
made in goods or " truck," but in money, any contra account
notwithstanding ; but there are a few exemptions, such as for
advances for food, tools, &c., to men engaged in felling bush.
In order to minimise the number of cases wherein fraudulent or
unfortunate contractors victimised their labourers, " The Con-
tractors^ and Workmen's Lien Act, 1892," was brought into
existence. This entitles a person who has done work upon any
land, building, or chattel to a lien upon such property. The
lien is only to be exercised under certain restrictions, and for a
limited amount, but it gives priority of claim for wages against
other service, and enables legal proceedings for recovery to be
taken before the attached property can be disposed of or

''The Servants' Registry Offices Act, 1895," regulates the
licensing of registry offices for domestic or farm servants.
It prevents friendless or uneducated people from becoming the
prey of unscrupulous persons, who formerly collected fees by
duping the applicants for situations. The registry-office keepers
have to pay a licensing fee to the Government, and to present
a certificate of good character when applying for a license.
Proper ledgers and books open to inspection must be provided,
and the lending or hiring of licenses is not permitted. Registry-
office keepers are not allowed to keep lodging-houses for servants,
or have any interest in such houses.

Five Acts for the supervision of shipping, and the protection
of sailors and passengers, are to be found in this volume. They
relate to the appointment of pilots and ships' officers; the en-
gagement and discharge of sailors; the sanitation, ventilation,
and overloading of vessels ; and the number of duly rated hands
engaged in proportion to tonnage. They endeavour to prevent
injustice to the sailor as to advance-notes, or payments in foreign
money, and also specify penalties to be inflicted for desertion,
disobedience, &c.

Combinations or associations of persons for regulating the
relations between masters and masters, or masters and workmen,

Digitized by



or workmen and workmen, are directed by " The Trade Union
Act, 1878." In this Act the different statutes which do not
apply to trade-unions (such as the Joint Stock Act, the Friendly
Societies Act, &c.) . are enumerated, and the manner in which
such societies may register, hold property, &c., is set out, to-
gether with the necessary provisions as to returns, penalties,
&c. "The Conspiracy Law Amendment Act, 1894,'* permits
any combination of persons in furtherance of a trade dispute,
provided that any act performed by such combination or society
would not be unlawful if done by one person. Such action
must not include riot, sedition, or crime against the State.

" The Wages Attachment Act, 1895," prevents wages below
£2 a week being attached for debt. It does not interfere with
any workman being sued for debt in the ordinary course, but
prevents a grasping creditor from stepping in before others and
seizing wages in advance before they are earned.

"The Master and Apprentice Act, 1865," applies mainly
to the indenturing of apprentices by the State, such apprentices
being children of destitute parents. In other respects the
law of England is held to be the law governing the relations
between masters and apprentices in this colony; but special
sections of the Act apply to the punishment of apprentices for
absenting themselves from duty, and to the fine on a master
for neglecting or ill-using his apprentice. The extract printed
herewith from " The Criminal Code Act, 1893," also relates to
the proper care of apprentices by their masters.

In or about coal-mines women and boys are not allowed to
be engaged. " The Coal-mines Act, 1891," provides for the
appointment of Inspectors, mine-managers, engine-drivers, &c.,
and furnishes rules as to the ages and working-hours of those
employed in attending engines, machinery, winding-gear, &c.
The ventilation of mines is provided for, and the necessary safe-
guards imposed as to blasting operations, working in foul air,
protecting lights, &c. Regulations for the management and
administration of funds and moneys, under section 69 of "The
Coal-mines Act, 1891," are reprinted in this volume. They
relate chiefly to the withdrawal of moneys from the Sick and
Accident Fund, and returns demanded from trustees of the
fund. The extracts from "The Mining Act, 1891," refer to

Digitized by



labour in any kind of mine, and state the position of tributers
and wages-men, the examination for officers, provision for
ventilation, precautions against accident by blasting, &c-

Edward Tregear,
Secretary for Labour, and Chief Inspector of
January, 1896.

Digitized by



'♦ The Conspiracy Law Amendment Act, 1894 "

*• The Contractors' and Workmen's Lien Act, 1892 "

*♦ The Employers' Liability Act, 1882 "

" The Employers' Liability Act Amendment Act, 1891 "

'* The Employers* Liability Acts Amendment Act, 1892 "

'♦ The Factories Act, 1894 " . .

" The Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act, 1894 "

'♦ The Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act Amendment Act, 1895

Labour in Coal-mines : Extract from " The Coal-mines Act, 1891 "

Labour in Coal-mines : Regulations for the Management and Administra

tion of Funds and Moneys under Section 69 of " The Coal-mines Act,

1891 " . .
Labour in Mines : Extracts from " The Mining Act, 1891 "
** The Master and Apprentice Act, 1865 "
Master and Apprentice : Extract from " The Criminal Code Act, 1893

Sections 160 and 213 . .
** The Servants' Registry Offices Act, 1895 " . .
" The Shipping and Seamen's Act, 1877 "

** The Shipping and Seamen's Act 1877 Amendment Act, 1885 ". .
** The Shipping and Seamen's Act Amendment Act, 1890 "
•* The Shipping and Seamen's Act Amendment Act, 1894 "
" The Shipping and Seamen's Act Amendment Act, 1895 "
" The Shops and Shop-assistants Act, 1894 " . .
'♦ The Shops and Shop-assistants Act Amendment Act, 1895 " . .
*• The Trade-Union Act, 1878 "
'« The Truck Act, 1891 "
•♦ The Wages Attachment Act, 1895 " . .
♦ The Workmen's Wages Act, 1893 " . .




Digitized by


Digitized by




1894, No. 13.
An Act amending the Law relating to Conspiracy.

[21st August, 1894.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of New Zealand in Parlia-
ment assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows : —

Short Title.

1. The Short Title of this Act is **The Conspiracy Law Amend-
ment Act, 1894."

Amendment of law as to conspiracy in trade disputes.

2. An agreement or combination by two or more persons to do
or procure to be done any act in contemplation or furtherance of a
trade dispute between employers and workmen shall not be deemed
to be unlawful so as to render such persons Uable to criminal prose-
cution for conspiracy if such act committed by one person would not
be unlawful.

Nothing in this section shall affect the law relating to riot, un-
lawful assembly, breach of the peace, or sedition, or any crinl^
against the State or the Sovereign.

** A crime " for the purposes of this section means an offence
punishable on indictment, or an offence which is punishable on sum-
mary conviction, and for the commission of which the offender i&
liable to be imprisoned, either absolutely, or, at the discretion of the
Court, as an alternative for some other punishment.

Combination afiecting the supply of gas, eleccrio light, or water.

3. No person employed by a local authority, or by any company
or contractor upon which or upon whom there is imposed by statute
the duty, or which or who have otherwise assumed the duty, of
supplying any city, borough, town, or place, or any part thereof,
with gas, electric light, or water, shall combine or agree with any
other person or persons to leave, without due notice, the employ of
such local authority, company, or contractor, if the effect of such
combination or agreement may reasonably be expected to be that
the inhabitants of such city, borough, town, or place, or part thereof
respectively, will be for any time deprived wholly or to a great extent
of their supply of gas, electric light, or water.


Digitized by



*' Due notice," for the purpose of this section, means at least

fourteen days' notice in writing.

Every person who shall combibe or agree in a manner forbidden

by this section shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding ten pounds,

or to be imprisoned for a term nob exceeding one month with or

without hard labour.

4. The several Acts of Parliament enumerated in the Schedule
shall cease to have any force in the colony from and after the com-
mencement of this Act.


Acts bepealbd.
Act of the Parliament of England,
t Eliz., c. 4. — An Act touohing dyvers Orders for Artificers, Labourers, Servantes
(1562-63.) of Husbandrye, and Apprentides.

Act of the Parliament of Great Britain,
12 Geo. I., c. 34. — An Act to prevent unlawful Combinations of Workmen
(1725-26.) employed in the Woollen Manufactures, and for better

Payment of their Wages.

Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,
6 Geo. IV., c. 129. — An Act to repeal the Laws relating to the Combination of
(1825.) Workmen, and to make other iSrovisions in lieu thereof.


1892, No. 25.

An Act to make Better Provision for securing the Payment
OF Money due to Contractors and Workmen, and fob
other Purposes. \lst October, 1892.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of New Zealand in Parlia-
ment assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows : —

Short Title. Commencement.

1. The Short Title of this Act is '' The Contractors' and Work-
men's Lien Act, 1892," and it shall come into operation on the first
day of January, one thousand eight hundred and ninety-three.


2. In this Act, unless inconsistent with the context, —

" Contract price " includes the money payable for the per-
formance of any work under any contract, express or
impUed, and whether the price was fixed by express agree-
ment or not :

" Contractor," as regards an employer, means a person who
contracts directly with the employer for the performance
of work for him ; as regards a sub-contractor, the term

Digitized by



means a person* with whom the sub- contractor contracts
to perform work ; and *' sub-contractor " means a person
who contracts with a contractor, or with another sub-
contractor, for the performance of work for such con-
tractor or sub-contractor :
^* Court " means the Court in which any proceedings may be
taken under thijs Act, and includes the Judge of any such
Court, and a Resident Magistrate in any matter in which
such Magistrate has jurisdiction under this Act :
•** Employer '* means and includes any person by whom a con-
tract is made with another person for the performance of
work, or at whose request, or upon whose credit, or on
whose behalf, with his privity or consent, work is done,
and includes also all persons claiming under him whose
rights are acquired after the work in question is com-
menced :
*** Owner ** means the person to whom the land or chattel upon
or in respect of which the work is to be done belongs,
and, in the case of land, includes a person having a limited
estate or interest in the land :
-** Work " includes any work or labour, whether skilled or
unskilled, executed or done, or commenced to be executed
or done, by any person of any occupation upon or in con-
nection with —

(a.) The construction, decoration, alteration, or repair
of any building or other structure upon land ; or

(6.) The development or working of any mine, quarry,
sandpit, drain, embankment, or other excavation in or upon
any land ; or

(c.) The placing, fixing, or erection of any materials,
or of any plant or machinery, used or intended to be used
for any of the purposes aforesaid ; or

{d,) The alteration or improvement of any chattel :
and shall include the supply of material used, or brought
on the premises to be used, in connection with the work :
^* Workman " means a person employed in doing work, whether
he is employed by the owner of the property upon which
the wofk is to be done, or by a contractor or sub- contrac-
tor, and whether his remuneration is to be according to
time or by piece-work, or at a fixed price or otherwise.


Lien upon land and chattels for labour.

3. A contractor, sub-contractor, or workman who does or procures
to be done any work upon or in connection with any land, or any
building or other structure or permanent improvement upon land, or
does or procures to be done any work upon or in connection with
^ny chattel, is entitled to a lien upon the whole interest of the

Digitized by



employer in that land or chattel for the contract price of the work^
but subject to the conditions and limitations following, that is ta*
say: —

(1.) The hen of a contractor does not exceed the amount for the
time being due to him under the contract between him;
and the employer ;
2.) The lien of a sub-contractor does not exceed the amount for
the time being due to him under the contract between
him and the contractor .or sub-contractor under whom he
works ;
' (3.) The hen of a workman, other than a contractor or sub-
contractor, does not exceed the amount for the time being
payable to him for his work, whether he' was employed by
the employer or by a contractor or sub-contractor ;
(4.) The total liabiUty of the employer in respect of all such liens
together does not, except in the case of fraud, exceed the
contract price payable under the contract or contracts
between him and the contractor or workmen with whom
he directly contracts ;
(6.) The lien of a workman in respect of one contract does not
exceed thirty days* earnings.

Owner standing by.

4. The estate or interest of the owner who is not himself the

Online LibraryNew ZealandLabour Laws → online text (page 1 of 39)