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Minister confused over KiwiSaver

Media Statement Monday, July 14th 2008

Minister confused over KiwiSaver

Trevor Mallard's plan to change KiwiSaver so employers will be prevented from treating all employees equitably demonstrates a complete lack of understanding over how workplaces operate," says David Lowe, Employment Services Manager for EMA (Northern).

"Employers have irreversibly acted on the KiwiSaver legislation as it was passed but they will now start doing things differently for new employees," Mr Lowe said.

"New staff will have Mr Mallard to blame for not getting benefits others get.

"For example, workplaces where employers have already contributed four per cent to their employees KiwiSaver accounts may well not do that for new staff.

"Employers have been reviewing their policies in the wake of KiwiSaver to ensure equity amongst all staff; shifting the goal posts now reintroduces inequity.

"All sorts of benefits like cars are paid to employees either in kind or cash along with a wage or salary. It's normal to ensure the total value of all pay and benefits are reflected in the total remuneration package.

"Mallard's plan would treat KiwiSaver apparently as something apart from all other forms of pay, including non-KiwiSaver superannuation schemes. Its a nonsense.

"Any two employees doing the same job to the same level of performance should be paid the same total remuneration. It would be simply unfair to provide lesser pay and benefits just because people do not join KiwiSaver.

"The Government apparently has no regard whatsoever for the effect a change like this would have on business and workplace relations.

"What we can be sure of is the effective date of any change will be the date it is introduced to Parliament - anything up to now won't be affected.

"But as the Minister's announcement contained several contradictions we'll have to wait for the actual legislation to find out exactly what it means.

"The Government is relentlessly flying in the face of the difficult economic times by imposing new costs and regulations across a whole range of sectors."


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