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Employment Relations Act working well


Employment Relations Act working well

Latest work stoppage figures released by Statistics New Zealand illustrate that the Employment Relations Act and its problem solving provisions are working well, Labour Minister Margaret Wilson said today.

"While the number of 14 stoppages in the June 2002 quarter is higher compared to the average of 9.7 under the ERA, the stoppages did not involve large numbers of employees or losses in person days or wages " she said.

The number of employees involved in the 14 stoppages was 1,427 (compared with an average of 3,988), number of person-days lost 4,510 (average 9,128) and the estimated loss in wages and salaries was $538,000 (average $1,297,000).

Margaret Wilson said quarterly figures will fluctuate as all data relating to each work stoppage is recorded in the quarter in which it ends. "What is important is that these figures, on average, are lower than those recorded under the Employment Contracts Act.

The corresponding figures under the ECA were higher in all respects. The average figures over its 37 full quarters were: 12.7 stoppages, involving 5,488 employees, 10,329 person-days lost, and an estimated $1,518,000 lost in wages and salaries."

This is yet another indication the Employment Relations Act is achieving its objectives which include the promotion of good faith collective bargaining and of mediation as the primary problem-solving mechanism, Margaret Wilson said.

"The Act has now been in place for two years and I am looking forward to receiving the next report on the Act.

"The Department of Labour has been conducting an ongoing evaluation of the Act, and this will feed into the Government's planned review which will identify whether any fine-tuning is required to the Act, its application or the administrative structures that support its operation", she said.

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