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Greens Support Contractors' Right To Choose

The Green Party is advocating for the rights of contractors to choose to stay as contractors under the Employment Relations Bill.

Employment spokesperson Sue Bradford, who sits on the select committee considering the bill, said contractors should not be forced to become employees if they didn't want to.

Ms Bradford said there were widespread concerns that a clause on dependent contracting could be used to force some contractors to give up their contracting status and become employees against their will.

"The Green Party would like to assure people that we are committed to seeing the clause rewritten."

Ms Bradford said the intention of the bill was to protect the rights of workers, not to dictate the work status of people who, for example, had mortgaged their houses to become self-employed independent contractors.

"The dependent contractors clause was aimed at protecting some low-income workers like home-care workers and cleaners who have been forced onto contracts against their wishes because it makes them cheaper to employ," she said.

"At the same time, we need to make sure that self-employed, independent contractors retain their right to choose their own work status."

Ms Bradford said ACT and National have preyed on the concerns of contractors, and created a climate of fear and mistrust around the Employment Relations Bill.

"In fact, this is exactly what a select committee process should be all about - picking up potential problems arising from a draft bill and correcting them before the bill becomes law," said Ms Bradford.

Sue Bradford MP: (04) 470 6720 or 025 243 4239 Gina Dempster, Press secretary: (04) 470 6723 or 021 1265 289

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