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Look out Australia, living wage will drive Kiwis your way

Media Release (For immediate release)
Look out Australia, the living wage will drive Kiwis your way

“Small-to-medium-sized businesses all over New Zealand are struggling to pay weekly wage bills and maintain their existence,” says Max Whitehead, director of the Independent Business Federation and the Whitehead Group.

Mr Whitehead’s comments come in the wake of a Herald on Sunday article by ex-Act Leader, Rodney Hide, expressing his opposition to the proposed living wage.

Mr Whitehead believes that the living wage will force thousands of Kiwis out of work. He states that many businesses are already on the verge of closure.

Mr Whitehead points out that 97% of New Zealand businesses are SMEs and many are reluctant to expand and employ staff because of New Zealand’s over-complicated employment laws — the living wage could be the last straw.

“Business owners are scared of what will happen to their business if they make a mistake when handling employment issues and, because they are small, they don’t have the time or money to fully understand employment law,” he says.

“Look out Australia. If the living wage was made into law, you will get an influx of Kiwi business people, who have had the courage to start a business in New Zealand, joining all the younger Kiwis who have already landed on your shores looking for jobs."

ENDS

About Whitehead Group:

The Whitehead Group is a leading human resource and employment firm. With more than 20 years experience in human resources in New Zealand and Australia, clients include Auckland City Council, Ports of Auckland, Shell Oil, Feltex Carpets Limited, Nufarm New Zealand and Nuplex Industries. The Whitehead Group specialises in Bargaining/Negotiating, Collective Agreements with unions, Employment Relations, Human Resources, Employment Agreements, Personal Grievances and Employment Law.


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