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Restrained approach to employment relations

Media release
24 July 2008

Restrained approach to employment relations

“National’s employment relations policy has the capacity to deliver economic growth if partnered with other pro-growth policies, says Business NZ.

Business NZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly said stability was also valued by business.

“We have had quite a few pendulum swings in employment policy over the last twenty years. A period of restraint and consolidation along with enhancement of basic rights is likely to be beneficial.

“Enhanced employee rights including restoring the freedom to bargain collectively without a union monopoly and allowing employees more flexibility over how they take their fourth week of annual leave are appropriate. It is important that employers and employees have the capacity to talk through and reach agreement on matters that affect both.

“A 90-day trial period for smaller businesses is of benefit to young people and others who have limited work experience as it will increase their chances of being ‘given a go’ by employers. It would bring New Zealand in line with the vast majority of other countries that offer some form of grievance-free probationary period. We are pleased to see National’s proposed trial period system contains many employee safeguards.

“The vast majority of employers will welcome the commitment to review the Holidays Act, which has been widely criticized for its complexity and costliness to apply.”


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