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Bird flu law's options for business

Wednesday, June 14th, 2006

Bird flu law's options for business, staff inadequate

Lock outs or redundancies are the only options available to businesses finding they can no longer pay staff under the new law proposed to cope with a bird flu pandemic, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) told the Government and Administration Select Committee today.

"Lock outs and redundancies because of an epidemic are not palatable options and provide inadequate recourse for business and their employees," said David Lowe, Employment Services manager for EMA (Northern).

"Business needs more moderate ways to deal with such a situation," Mr Lowe said.

"In designing the new law Government thought only of itself with all sorts of new powers and exemptions.

"That's ok for government but businesses need some of the red tape cleared away as well so it can respond reasonably to an epidemic.

"We support the concept of the special legislation; it simply needs to include the whole community.

"EMA has recommended a range of measures to the Committee, including the types of assistance needed from government for business to manage the effects of an epidemic, and giving employers the ability to send unwell workers home in order to protect others."


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