Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Proposed Employment Bill Changes “Cosmetic”

Proposed Employment Bill Changes “Cosmetic”

Wednesday 5th Jul 2000
Richard Prebble
Media Release -- Economy

ACT Leader Richard Prebble expressed anger that government MPs were using parliamentary privilege to keep proposed changes to the Employment Relations Bill secret, while at the same time Cabinet Ministers were using media statements to create the impression the government was “listening” to concerns.

“Yesterday, National MP Katherine Rich was threatened with a breach of privilege by Labour MP Graham Kelly. He said she had revealed to her local newspaper that there were no substantive changes to the Bill. But today Michael Cullen outlined seven so-called changes without a murmur from Mr Kelly, the select committee chairman,” Mr Prebble said.

“He is prepared to bully a new young Opposition MP but has done nothing about his Minister’s actions. The ACT Party will not be silenced. The amendments proposed by Dr Cullen are largely cosmetic.

“While we haven’t seen the government’s detailed proposals, I have reason to believe that some of the changes are totally superficial and will not alter the legal effect of the Bill.

“It is our understanding that most of the proposed changes are only happening where the coalition realises what it was proposing is totally unworkable,” Mr Prebble said.

“ACT believes the government now knows that declaring all dependent contractors employees is totally unworkable, but they are still seeking to overturn the contractual situation when it suits the unions.

“We’ve always predicted that the government would do a U-turn over fixed term contracts when they realised that as it was drafted, Christine Rankin had a job for life. The ludicrous ban on communication with employees is also totally impractical given that most companies employ five people or less and putting the boss in Coventry is unworkable.

“The continuity of employment clause, which as drafted would require employers to go on paying staff even when there is no work, is so draconian that no employer would sign a collective agreement. It’s safe to predict that will be changed. But frankly I don’t believe that Cullen’s claim that the power of unions to enter non-unionised workplaces will be changed.

“ACT believes that the absurd clause which covers directors’ liability will continue to be in the Bill despite Cullen’s press statements. All he appears to be conceding is that the clause is a nonsense.

“Instead of Dr Cullen and I trading guesses on what’s in the Bill, the government should be open and transparent and present a supplementary order paper to Parliament outlining publicly all the changes they propose to this legislation. They should then send it to the select committee and allow those who have made a submission to comment on the amendments. That would be a democratic, parliamentary way of proceeding with this poorly drafted dictatorial Bill,” Mr Prebble said. ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Child Poverty Monitor: Food Poverty Due To Inadequate Income, Housing Cost

The latest Child Poverty Monitor released today by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner reveals alarming facts about children suffering the impacts of family income inadequacy, says Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG).

The report found that one in five children under the age of 15 - amounting to between 161,000 and 188,000 children - experience moderate-to-severe food insecurity, meaning they can’t count on having regular nutritious meals. More>>

 

Open Government: Proactively Release Of Ministerial Diaries

All Government Ministers will for the first time release details of their internal and external meetings, Minister for State Services (Open Government) Chris Hipkins announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Billion Trees: Questions Over Shanes Jones Carbon Claims

“Officials estimate the actual value of the One Billion Trees (OBT) scheme will be just a third of the amount Mr Jones claimed, at about $900 million, and that he padded the number by including $800 million of ETS benefits and $1 billion of business-as-usual activity..." More>>

'Sovereignty Concerns': Plans To Sign UN Migration Pact

New Zealand is likely going to sign up to a United Nations migration pact this week as long as it can iron out a concern around sovereignty. More>>

ALSO:

Most Vulnerable Face Most Risk: Sea Level Rise Threatens Major Infrastructure

The burden of sea-level rise will weigh on the most vulnerable unless a new approach is developed and legislated, a new report says. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Pope Of Parliament

’Tis the season of goodwill towards all humankind… except it would seem, towards the Speaker of Parliament... More>>

ALSO:

Abortion: Hundreds March To Call For Decriminalisation

About 300 protesters marched to Parliament this afternoon calling on MPs to vote in favour of decriminalising abortion. A recent report by the Law Commission to the government recommended removing it from the Crimes Act. More>>

ALSO:

Secondary Negotiations: PPTA Rejects 'Another Inadequate Offer'

Hard on the heels of an overwhelming rejection of the government’s second offer, the union’s representatives did not believe that the latest offer was good enough to take out to members... More>>

ALSO:

eGates And Social Security: PM Meets With Korean President Moon Jae-In

Our shared values and challenges, the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the opportunity to do more together were features of the meeting between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in today in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels