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Government must hold off on workplace laws

Gerry Brownlee National Accident Insurance Spokesperson

14 November 2001

Government must hold off on workplace laws

The Government's ignoring the concerns of the business community with its push for sweeping changes to workplace health and safety laws, says National's Accident Insurance spokesperson, Gerry Brownlee.

"Its decision to set up a test panel to look at the cost factors of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Bill shows it's floundering in the dark over the changes, and is already starting to back down.

"The Government must see the damage it's doing to business. It's essential that the Labour Minister holds this Bill back from first reading until the test panel is able to report back on whether it will work.

"And there's little chance of that. The draconian penalties in this Bill will just add to the bureaucratic red tape and hefty compliance costs already choking business.

"It is little wonder that 76 percent of Auckland businesses surveyed have described the Bill as 'appalling' and 63 percent said they were 'less likely to take on extra staff'.

"National will vigorously oppose this Bill. Everyone wants our workplaces to be safe but not at the cost of good employers who work hard to maintain safe workplaces," said Mr Brownlee.

Ends

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