The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Government to act on a year-old report on redundancy entitlements.
Almost 400 workers were made redundant on Friday.
Few of them are likely to receive payouts, although unions say many are entitled to them.
The Public Advisory Group on Restructuring and Redundancy recommended last June that the Government look at making redundancy compensation a statutory requirement of employers.
The CTU says it agrees the focus should be on finding jobs and providing training support for workers made redundant.
But it says given the scale of redundancies now occuring, the group's suggestions should not be ignored.
Business New Zealand says the suggestion is a "truly bad idea" in the current economic climate.
It says fewer people will be employed if businesses are forced to put aside money for possible future redundancies.
The advisory group was made up of Business New Zealand, the State Services Commission and the CTU.