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ACT Launches Election Employment Policy

ACT Launches Election Employment Policy

Sunday 1st Oct 2000 Richard Prebble Speech -- Economy

ôToday, as the Employment Relations Act comes into force, ACT is launching its employment relations policy û ôFreedom to Contractö, said ACT Leader, Hon Richard Prebble.

ôACT has not just led the fight against the Employment Relations Act û today the ACT Party has put out a positive, practical, and productive alternative.

ôThis policy release, over two years before the next election is due, is the first manifesto policy release for the 2002 election campaign to be issued by any party. New Zealanders, depressed by the coalitionÆs oppressive new employment law, need to know that there is an alternative.

ôMain policy points include: * the Employment Relations Act will be repealed * the Employment court and Employment relations Authority will be abolished * freedom to contract will be restored, and ACT will reinstate the best of the former Employment Contracts Act û except for the specialist tribunals. This will eliminate the huge gold-plated handshakes being given to well paid executives.

ôThe Employment Contracts Act saw unprecedented job growth and an increase in real wages. There was no big problem to fix and certainly no justification for turning our industrial law upside down.

ôOne of the main allegations made by Labour and the Alliance is that the Employment Contracts Act was unfair, especially for the low paid. Far from being unfair û the Employment Contracts Act closed the gaps. Maori employment rose, Maori skill levels increased and Maori income also rose as the Labour DepartmentÆs household surveys show.

ôStrikes were down, overall employment up û not McDonaldÆs jobs, but real fulltime employment. New Zealand does not need a new 191 page employment law.

ôIt is sobering to note that since the election the number of our fellow citizens who have been jobless for more than a year has risen 20,128 û as fear of the Employment Relations Act causes employers not to offer jobs. In fact parliamentary services, who arguably had the best notice of all employers, have placed a minimum two week ban on employing new staff until they work out the requirements of the Act. Imagine how long the delays will be in the rest of the economy.

ôThe policy can be viewed at

ôACTÆs freedom to contract will see more jobs, better jobs, a rising income for all New Zealanders, and it is just two years and two months away!,ö said Hon Richard Prebble.


For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

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