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Fix intended for bungled law won't work

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

Fix intended for bungled law won't work

The Bill to fix the bungle in the 2004 Employment Relations Amendment Act won't work, the Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern) told Parliament's Select Committee today.

"The policy position the Bill is based on can't work because it's unworkable," said David Lowe, EMA's Manager of Employment Relations Services.

"Businesses trying to operate under the present law found it didn't work, before the courts ruled it had been bungled.

"But it still won't work now because it assumes businesses will hand over confidential information to a competitor, which is naïve and unrealistic.

"Businesses won't volunteer commercially sensitive information such as rates of pay, rosters and other workplace terms and conditions to a competing business.

"A business losing part of its work to another business will not hand over a cheque to cover the cost of liabilities like sick leave owing to staff that transfer to them. If they did, though the sick leave may never be taken, the new business would keep the money anyway.

"Businesses can't function under laws like this and stay in business.

"The UK has made repeated attempts at this sort of legislation and is still not getting it right. Government needs to find another way.

"It is wrong to push through a law that creates more problems than it solves, irrespective of whether you agree with its purpose."

ENDS

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