The Major Parties: National's and Labour's Employment Relations Policies

  • Danaë Anderson
  • Erling Rasmussen
  • Barry Foster
Keywords: New Zealand general election, major parties’ election promises, employment relations, Covid-19 pandemic


The 2020 election campaign has been divisive and extended, with the election date delayed in August by a month (from 19th September) to 17th October. The Covid-19 pandemic has influenced public policies to an unprecedented degree as well as playing havoc with the political parties’ voter support.  While there, initially, did not seem to be many major policy differences between the two main parties, a clear choice has been established during the election campaign. Aside from National’s crucial choice of promising tax cuts and stronger debt reduction targets, a clear distinction in employment relations policies has also been established.  Labour continues its policy priorities, which include new employment relations initiatives and large employment support policies, while National pledges more employer-determined flexibility and employee choice in respect of statutory minima and educational opportunities.  However, although there have already been many election promises, there appears to be no comprehensive plan from either party of how to establish a sustainable, high skill and highly productive economy along with associated workplace relationships. 

How to Cite
Anderson, D., Rasmussen, E., & Foster, B. (2020). The Major Parties: National’s and Labour’s Employment Relations Policies. New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations, 45(1), 3-13.