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Treasury papers based on assumptions

Treasury papers based on assumptions

Treasury papers claiming the impact of the Employment Relations Law Reform Bill could be "modest" suggest a fundamental misunderstanding of legislation that would make collective bargaining compulsory, says Business NZ.

Chief Executive Simon Carlaw says the Treasury appears to have decided that the Bill's provisions on contracting out and sale of business matter more than any other provisions because current union coverage in the private sector is so low.

"Regrettably, this assumption is wrong. Yes, contracting out and sale of business will have negative impacts. But so will the assault on employer and employee freedoms that permeate the rest of this Bill, which is focused completely on rebuilding union control in the workplace - a clear path back to the seventies.

"At least the Treasury seemed earlier last year to have some glimmer of what is coming:

'Given the breadth of the changes proposed, the cumulative effect of the package may be perceived to shift the current employment regulatory regime.'1

"Pity they didn't quantify the likely impact of that 'regime shift' - employment-related compliance requirements already cost small employers $800 per employee2 or $665 million for the economy as a whole every year.

"This regime shift can only increase costs further while destroying freedoms," Mr Carlaw said.

1 Treasury Report 28 March 2003 page 5

2 Business NZ-KPMG Compliance Cost survey

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