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All Blacks In Perpetuity?

The Employment Relations Bill will cause some real headaches for the New Zealand Rugby Football Union (NZRFU), ACT leader Richard Prebble said today.

Mr Prebble, who is leading the opposition to the Bill, said dropping All Blacks could become a difficult proposition for the NZRFU given that the government has said rugby players on contracts will become employees of the rugby union.

“An All Black who is dropped from the Test team can justifiably be reinstated by the Employment Relations Tribunal. All Black coach Wayne Smith’s selections will be hamstrung by the stupidity of this Bill,” Mr Prebble said.

He said another aspect to worry the NZRFU was that employees on fixed term contracts were, under the Bill, employees in perpetuity. Clause 81 of the Bill would create untenable demands on the NZRFU’s resources.

“And as there will always be Test match rugby, those players whose contracts come to an end will still be on the books of the NZRFU, drawing a salary. The union’s employee costs are going to skyrocket, and it’s going to be a very handy retirement package for those approaching the end of their on-field careers.”

“The All Black team selected to play Tonga in June could be the last selected for a while. If they think Jonah Lomu is expensive now, wait until his playing days and his contract come to an end.”

The Employment Relations Bill, currently before a Parliamentary select committee, adversely affects all employers, Mr Prebble said.

“This latest example just shows how ridiculous this Bill is and how far-reaching its effects are.”

ENDS

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