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Trial period is pro-worker

Media release
9 December 2008

Trial period is pro-worker

The incoming Government shows it has listened to the key problems facing small businesses in moving with urgency on a 90-day trial period, says Business NZ.

Business NZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly says it is a policy used by just about every other developed country in the world - many with longer trial periods – and is an accepted part of their industrial relations framework.

He says the government’s decision to progress the matter under urgency is not unreasonable since there was already an extensive select committee process for the Wayne Mapp bill, with more than 600 submissions considered.

“We would not normally support urgency for new legislation, however in this case the policy has been well developed over a period of time and well flagged in advance of the election.

“This policy does not remove any of the human rights protections for employees under law.

“Most important, we are facing an economic downturn when jobs are most at risk and small businesses are least likely to hire.

“It is a pro-worker policy. The least skilled, most marginal employees - currently most at risk of not gaining jobs - will get the most benefit from it.

“The decision to make the policy take effect from April next year is also a reasonable one, allowing time to upskill employers in relation to the change. The Business NZ family – EMA Northern, EMA Central, Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and the Otago Southland Employers Association – will assist in getting information out to employers.”


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