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Union numbers 'just silly'

Media release

2 June 2006

Union numbers ‘just silly’

Union claims of mass sackings under the probation Bill are just silly, says Business NZ.

Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly says similar legislation is used without problem in the UK, US, Australia and Europe.

“This kind of legislation is a sensible, accepted part of the employment landscape in those countries.

“Using a probation period would be purely voluntary - most employers would not need to use it all. It simply helps balance the risks between all parties if an employment relationship doesn’t work out.

“Union statements are suggesting thousands of workers sacked every three months - this is silly.

“Why would employers hire employees just to sack them? The costs of advertising, selection, induction, training, uniforms and the cost of settling in a new worker are huge. Even getting new employees is hard enough given New Zealand’s record low unemployment figures.

“Employers hire employees in the hope and expectation that they will be successful; to suggest otherwise flies in the face of reality.

“The level of debate over this Bill is disappointing. There are some changes that should be made to improve this Bill. We would like to see the union movement engage sensibly over those changes, instead of making hysterical claims.”


ENDS

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