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ERB improved but still needs work

01 August 2000

ERB improved but still needs work

The final form of the Employment Relations Bill was an improvement on the original but still needs some work, Green Party Employment spokesperson Sue Bradford said today.

"I am pleased that the thrust of the bill, to restore balance between employers and workers, has been retained", she said.

"And the select committee has been able to iron out some anomalies which were creating fear amongst interest groups, and which have been hyped up by National and ACT for political purposes."

Ms Bradford said her support for contractors rights to choose their own employment status was well known, and was reflected in the final form of the bill.

"The Greens have also ensured that a union needs 15 members instead of two, a number that we thought was ridiculous and unworkable."

"We have also clarified in the bill that not-for-profit organisations aren't included under the liability of directors clause, and we have protected the Brethren's interests in relation to union access."

However Ms Bradford said she was disappointed that the final form of the bill did not include protection for vulnerable employees when the firm they work for is transferred or sold - an amended form of Clause 66 which the Green Party supported throughout the select committee process.

The Green Party will continue to work on several areas of the bill, including Clause 66 as well as protecting the right of workers to strike over political or environmental concerns, ensuring access to workplaces for unions and stopping free-loading in heavily unionised workplaces.

Ms Bradford said she was also continuing to press for the removal of the current 13 week stand-down period for benefits, as it was an incentive for workers to bring personal grievance cases which clog up the employment mediation and court processes.

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


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