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ERA Comes At Worst Possible Time

The Employment Relations Act comes in today at the worst possible time for businesses, employers, employees and New Zealand, National Industrial Relations spokesperson Max Bradford said today.

“Consumer confidence slumped last Wednesday, business confidence dropped last Thursday, economic growth went into negative territory on Friday.

“Supermarket prices have gone up, petrol prices have increased and other imported product prices are on the up.

“And today (Monday 2.10.00) businesses have the Employment Relations Act dumped on them.

“Employers already have to grapple with the deteriorating business and economic climate. From today they have to cope with employment law for a bygone era.

“Employers will spend the next few months feeling uncertain about the future as they come to grips with the legislation against the backdrop of other significant pressures on doing business.

“The ERA will really start to bite from about the middle of next year.

“From July 1 the ERA allows for every existing collective contract to be renegotiated if employees want it. This will come at a time when businesses will be facing big skill shortages, increased wage demands on the back of higher inflation and much tighter profit margins.

“The Employment Relations Act will exacerbate skill shortages with its rigid, prescriptive measures making it harder to employ people, harder to take the risks needed to expand and innovate and quickly adjust the way the business operates.

“This law is another part of this Government’s great business clobbering machine. It also threatens the positive employer/employee relationships that have built up over recent years.”


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