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Enhanced employee protection in Govt. amendments

14 February 2002 Media Statement

Enhanced employee protection in Government amendments to Hide Shop Trading Hours Bill

Associate Minister of Labour and Alliance Industrial Relations Spokesperson Laila Harré is pleased that the Government as a whole has agreed on amendments to Rodney Hide’s Shop Trading Hours Bill. The amendments will call for enhanced employee protections.

“The Alliance sought the stronger employee protections as amendments to Hide’s Bill.”

The Alliance will be voting against the bill as a whole and against liberalisation of hours,“ said Ms Harré.

“Our opposition to liberalisation is not limited to concerns about the impact on workers’ and retailers’ choice. It is also, and fundamentally, about the intrinsic value of Christmas day, Easter Friday, Easter Sunday and ANZAC day as days for non-work, non-commercial, community, family, cultural and religious activities.”

“The Alliance has no doubt that shop trading on any of these days will reduce their current value and therefore indicate that those supporting the change put a diminished value on this aspect of those days as compared to ‘the right to shop’”.

“While the best option for us is that the bill doesn’t proceed, our backstop position is to ensure that the employee protections within the bill are as strong as possible. That’s why we have worked to get these amendments agreed to by the Government as a whole and that’s why we will be supporting them within the bill.”

ENDS

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