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Australian labour law sends signal NZ

15 November 2005

Australian labour law sends a signal to New Zealand

Australia's proposed labour law will bring increased productivity and choice to Australian workplaces, says Business NZ.

Business NZ Chief Executive Phil O'Reilly said Australia's WorkChoices Bill, while very different from New Zealand legislation, will have the effect of liberalising the Australian employment relations scene, giving that country a competitive edge.

"Some of its provisions will make Australia more competitive - by removing some of the red tape associated with individual contracts, protecting firms with less than 100 staff from 'unfair dismissal' entrapment, and protecting new projects and industries from industrial action during their startup period.

"New Zealand does not necessarily want the same elements in our employment law - it's important that we come up with New Zealand solutions to New Zealand employment issues - but this Australian labour reform sends a signal that we should look hard at our own Employment Relations Act, and think about ways of getting more choice and productivity from our law," Mr O'Reilly said.

"The WorkChoices legislation will make it easier for Australian companies to be productive, nimble and flexible - they'll earn more and be able to pay their workers more. This legislation may well increase the outflow of jobs and investment from New Zealand to Australia."


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