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New Holiday Act Costly

Simon Power National Labour and Industrial Relations Spokesperson

01 February 2002

New Holiday Act Costly

"Changes to the Holiday Act announced today by the Minister of Labour are further evidence that the Government doesn't understand the pressures of small business," says National Labour and Industrial Relations spokesperson Simon Power.

The costs associated with paying time and a half on public holidays in addition to time off in lieu will create further financial pressure on business.

There is every chance businesses will be forced to pass those costs onto consumers and equally concerning, it may effect business decisions to take on new staff.

Just like the OSH Bill the Government believes by increasing penalties business will fall into line but as is consistent with Government policy they offer plenty of penalties but no incentives for business to comply, says Mr Power.

As well as these issues, the Government still has to contend with the Associate Minister of Labour Laila Harre who seems determined to push for four weeks annual paid leave.

"Breaches in the new legislation will lead to increasing penalties to a maximum of $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for a company or corporation, and the penalty for a continuing offence will be increased to a maximum of $1,000 for every day that the offence occurs," says Mr Power.

This Government is intent on sending signals to employers that make it more difficult to do business in New Zealand.

Ends

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