ACT misleads employers
The Association of University Staff (AUS) today accused ACT of misleading employers about proposed new employment legislation. AUS University of Canterbury Branch Organiser, Marty Braithwaite, today referred to an analysis by University of Canterbury senior lecturer in law, John Hughes, of a single ACT Party media release (Newsroom 17/4/00) which contained 12 significant errors of fact.
"These are not simple errors of interpretation", said Mr. Braithwaite, "they are significant misrepresentations that will fuel the already high level of ill-informed employer opposition to the Employment Relations Bill.
“Examples of errors in the ACT press release include a statement that the Bill provides new "industrial inspectors" with the ability to issue "massive" spot fines. The press release includes an example of a 'naughty' employer being given a $1,000 spot fine.
"Not only is there no provision for new industrial inspectors, but there is also no provision for spot fines, massive or otherwise, nor anything remotely resembling this", said Mr. Braithwaite.
“The ACT press release asserts that wrongful dismissals will be able to be filed six years after dismissal. This is actually the case under the current legislation and the Employment Relations Bill expressly abolishes actions for wrongful dismissal.
The release also says that the grounds for personal grievance are "widened" to include race, marital status and religion - "the test is now subjective. If you felt you were insulted - then the law says you were". The Employment Relations Bill neither widens the grounds for personal grievance, nor does it propose applying any such subjective test.
"The dissemination by ACT of such error-ridden information is beyond political gamesmanship," said Mr. Braithwaite. "The irony is that such mis-information has the potential to damage the business confidence of the very constituency ACT purports to represent.
For further information, including comment, copies of the ACT media statement, the relevant Hansard extract, and the analysis provided by John Hughes, please contact: Marty Braithwaite Canterbury Branch Organiser, Association of University Staff
Ph (03) 364 2485 work, (03) 332 7884 home