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Disappointing Early Action by New National Govt

Media release below:

Disappointing Early Action by New National Government

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is dismayed that the National led government has confirmed that it is going to act under urgency to amend the Employment Relations Act to allow for workers in small businesses to be dismissed within the first 90 days of their employment and with no access to any recourse.

"John Key said that this National Government would be a government for all New Zealanders. Choosing as a priority action the removal of rights from vulnerable workers is not the action of a government for all New Zealanders. This legislation change will perhaps benefit employers in the short run but that will come at the expense of workers and to the detriment of ongoing productive workplace relations," NZNO CEO Geoff Annals said.

"Our members, nurses and caregivers, working in residential age care will be particularly vulnerable under this law change. High turnover is a significant issue within the industry with many facilities experiencing turnover of close to 40% annually. Increasing worker vulnerability within the first 90 days can only exacerbate this problem. Nurses working in primary health in small GP surgeries will also be affected. For workers to be dismissed unfairly without any right to a hearing is shameful."

"John Key has given no satisfactory explanation for the need to bypass the democratic process by taking urgency in this action. During the election he asserted the need to return to good democratic processes and criticised the previous Government for unilateral actions. It is very disappointing to see this Government acting undemocratically within its first 90 days. Sadly the electorate does not have the same right to dismiss this Government that the Government plans to give to employers," Annals said.


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