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Govt. threatens services and livelihoods

Max Bradford
Opposition Industrial Relations Spokesperson

18 April 2000

Govt. threatens services and livelihoods

The Employment Relations Bill will stifle Kiwi ingenuity and put the livelihood of thousands of people at risk, Opposition Industrial Relations spokesperson Max Bradford said today.

"A whole new category of workers has flourished in recent years as they've come up with fresh ideas and ways of delivering services as contractors in the new economy. But the ERB is about to change all that.

"Clause 6 will force many independent contractors out of work or make them sign up as employees.

"It has dire consequences for courier firms, IT consultants, those offering professional consultancy services, home-based carers, plumbers and builders on long-term construction sites, taxi drivers, and fishermen. Sharemilkers, insurance agents and real estate agents could also be hit, but nobody in the Government seems to know.

"A forum on the Bill has been called in Auckland tonight for contractors to look at the ways they'll be hit by the law change.

"The Bill turns these contractors into employees. That means they potentially lose tax benefits from being independent contractors, and they lose the independence and choice from being self employed.

"The Bill means extra costs and hassles for the small employer at a time when we need to make it easier to do business not harder. People are worried their businesses won't survive, given it's already hard enough to employ people.

"No-one at the coal face can work out why the Government is forcing thousands of self-employed contractors into becoming employees, when they don't want to be.

"National will put up amendments to the legislation to get people exempt from the dependent contractor provisions."

Max Bradford will address the forum on the Employment Relations Bill at the Aotea Centre Kupe Room tonight between 5.30 and 7pm.

Ends


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