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Holidays Bill Should Be Scrapped

Holidays Bill Should Be Scrapped

Proposed changes to workplace holiday legislation will not boost economic growth and should be scrapped, the New Zealand Business Roundtable told the parliamentary select committee examining the Holidays Bill and the Holidays (Four Weeks Annual Leave) Amendment Bill today. Policy Advisor Norman LaRocque told the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee that the legislation was inconsistent with the government's goals of sustainable economic growth.

"The government's objective is to move New Zealand into the top half of OECD income rankings," Mr LaRocque said. "The test of any policy proposal should be whether it makes a contribution to that objective. Both of these bills clearly fail the test. This legislation will achieve only minor, if any, reductions in compliance costs.

"The effects will not be confined to the private sector. Government-supplied services like prisons, police and hospitals could be significantly affected. In the medium-term, this means New Zealanders will face reduced services or increased taxes.

"We agree that the current Holidays Act is in drastic need of reform. The Act is out-of-date, complex, and difficult to enforce. However, what is needed is a fundamental reform starting from first principles. The proposed legislation simply fails to deliver.

"If the government is to have any role at all with regard to holidays, it should be limited to stating what the entitlements are and then allowing individual employees and employers to negotiate whatever exchanges they like," Mr LaRocque said.

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