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ERB means tougher times for local business

Doing business and taking on staff is about to get harder – but it isn’t too late to do something about it, Annabel Young MP said today.

“The Employment Relations Bill is making its way through Parliament and as people get to grips with it they realise it won’t just hit big workplaces and unions.

“People are taken aback by how far-reaching the Employment Relations Bill actually is and just how harsh it is on employers – and believe it or not – on staff.

“The biggest worry is that the Employment Relations Bill does not reflect what goes on in workplaces today. It is written for a by-gone era.

“The Bill would be okay for a New Zealand where we didn’t need to play a role on the world stage, where technology, innovation and enterprise were the domain of a few and where doing business and doing it well didn’t depend on enterprise and flexibility to respond to change.

“Life’s not like that, and hasn’t been for 20 years or so. This Government hasn’t woken up to that yet.

“If you believed the Government you’d think the country was full of employers and staff at each others throats. Times have changed. More often than not employers and staff are in the same boat working together to lift the performance of their organisation.”

Key features of the Bill include:

 More opportunities for strikes and a ban on replacing people – even with management staff - while strikes are on.

 Directors and company officials become personally liable for outstanding pay – including holiday pay.

 Contractors like couriers, home care workers and IT consultants become employees with all the hassle that brings for them and the employer.

 Having to provide unions with sensitive business and financial planning information and details of what all staff are paid – including those on individual contracts. And all of it could end up in the hands of the competition if the same collective agreement covers them.

 Being forced to establish a collective agreement if two of the staff join the union. And they’ll be able to strike to get it.

 Union members deciding they want a collective agreement that covers both you and your competitors, and striking to get this.

 If you have a collective agreement, you can’t talk to staff face-to-face – you have to go through the union.

 Having an open-door policy for union officials even if no-one is in the union or wants to see them.

 Being forced to put all new people - including temps - onto the collective conditions for at least 30 days.

“The Bill is before the select committee. Now is the time for people to tell Parliament and MPs what they think about the law change.

“They need to get submissions into the select committee by May 3. They can contact my office or go to National’s website for help.”


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