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Employment undertakings surprising, pleasing

Media statement
Wednesday, August 24th, 2005

Employment undertakings surprising, pleasing

Undertakings conveyed by Labour Minister Paul Swain to the Business New Zealand Election Conference this morning are pleasing though surprising, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

Labour Minister Paul Swain reassured employers at the conference on his party's plans for future employment law changes, said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.

"Minister Swain allayed considerable concern on three key matters when he indicated they are not on Labour's agenda if it were to be re-elected," Mr Thompson said.

"The issues known to be on union wish lists though not on Labour's agenda, are:

* Mandatory 'pay equity' to be paid by business

* Mandatory flexible working hours, again to be met by business

* No legislative changes to strengthen the role of multi employer collective agreements (MECA's)

"The Minister was uncertain on what a new Labour-led Government might do regarding a fourth issue, how to encourage work-life balance.

"These issues have aroused significant uncertainty on what a third term Labour Government might introduce," Mr Thompson said.

"Business will be reassured and pleased these issues are not on Labour's agenda."


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