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Prebble Goes on Tour Against Employment Bill

ACT leader Richard Prebble will hit the road next week for a series of free meetings explaining and opposing the government’s Employment Relations Bill.

Mr Prebble will host free seminars in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch as ACT co-ordinates resistance to the Bill.

“Employers are only just beginning to realise this Bill is not a modification to the Employment Contracts Act, but a radical, totally new labour relations system. We only have until May 3 to get employers to make submissions opposing this Bill, so these meetings are very important for employers,” Mr Prebble said.

“The ACT Party has been receiving an increasing number of calls from businesses asking us to explain the Bill and what, if anything, can be done about it.”

The Bill recommends, amongst other things:
 Termination of a fixed term contract at the end of the term will be deemed a case for unjustifiable dismissal
 All an employer’s financial records, business planning, and economic forecasting must be provided to union representatives during contract bargaining
 Compulsory consultation with unions if an employer is making business decisions which may affect employees
 Employers will no longer be able to negotiate collective contracts directly with staff.

“The financial sector, for example, will be affected because the Bill overrides statutes such as the Commerce Act, procedures for information disclosure for companies, and places financial liabilities directly on to directors and officers of companies,” Mr Prebble said.

“Small businesses are only just starting to realise that even companies that employ no-one could easily be caught up in the Bill. And if they do 70% of their business with one customer, they could discover to their surprise they are an employee of that company.”

The meetings begin on Monday in Auckland. Mr Prebble said time was running out for businesses to act against the Bill.

MEETING SCHEDULE:
MONDAY APRIL 17 – AUCKLAND
7.30am: Breakfast meeting at the Centra Hotel, 128 Albert Street, AUCKLAND CITY
10.00am: Waipuna Hotel, 58 Waipuna Road, MT WELLINGTON
2.30pm: North Shore Rowing Club Lounge, 2 Northcote Road (Lake end), TAKAPUNA
TUESDAY APRIL 18 – WELLINGTON
7.30am: Breakfast at Beehive
10.30am: Angus Inn, cnr Bloomfield Terrace and Waterloo Road, LOWER HUTT
4.00pm: Pataka Museum of Arts & Culture, cnr Parumoana & Norrie Sts, PORIRUA
WEDNESDAY APRIL 19 – CHRISTCHURCH
10.00am: Centra Hotel, cnr High & Cashel Streets, CHRISTCHURCH
3.00pm: Equestrian Hotel, 6 Tower Road, HORNBY

(Mr Prebble said anyone wanting to make a submission could access an online form at:
http://www.act.org.nz/action/employment/submission.html or fax the ACT Parliamentary office on 04 473 3532.)
ENDS

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