Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


UF seeks significant changes in workplace law

For immediate release

Tuesday, 19 November 2002

United Future seeks significant changes in workplace law

United Future New Zealand's Parliamentary caucus today announced details of the changes the party will be seeking in the controversial Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Bill, currently before Parliament.

When the Bill is debated in detail during the committee stages just before Christmas, United Future leader, Peter Dunne, will move a Supplementary Order Paper seeking substantial amendment. These will include removal of any mention of volunteers from the legislation; the removal of any mention of "stress" and "fatigue" from being included as workplace hazards; and removing the proposal to prohibit employers from taking out insurance to cover them against Occupational Health and Safety fines or infringement fees.

Commenting on the SOP, Mr Dunne said "The Government has already indicated it has heeded community concerns by proposing to remove volunteers from the ambit of the Bill, but my caucus believes it will still be useful to keep this change in front of us as a safeguard against any backsliding.

"We believe the reference to work-related stress is a charter for work-shy slackers and money-hungry lawyers. There aren't even any definitions of "stress" or "fatigue" in the Bill, yet employers are supposed to be able to recognise it when it occurs and deal with it, lest they are driven out of business by grossly inflated fines. We believe this appalling piece of legislation, with its intangible and complex language, will lead to business failure and a massive increase in litigation."

Mr Dunne, referring to the proposal in the Bill to remove employers' current right to take out insurance against OSH penalties while at the same time increasing penalties five-fold from $100,000 to $500,000, also said "There have been suggestions that this section of the Bill is alright because it has been modified so that a company's ability to pay is taken into account.

"This is wrong and muddleheaded because it would effectively allow a company on the verge of bankruptcy to continue to endanger its employees without facing significant fines, thus defeating the Bill's stated purpose of improving workplace safety.

"If the Government cannot accept these changes, then United Future will oppose the Bill in its entirety," said Mr Dunne.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

KiwiBailed: KiwiBuild Head Officially Resigns

The head of Kiwibuild, Stephen Barclay has officially resigned from the role. In a statement issued on his behalf, it was announced that he would step down from today [Friday].

Housing Minister Phil Twyford's office said he would not be commenting on Mr Barclay's resignation as it was an employment matter. Last month, Mr Twyford confirmed that Mr Barclay had not been at work for a number of weeks. More>>


Welfare Stats: Rise In Hardship Numbers Shows Income Inadequacy

The latest Ministry of Social Development quarterly report show that a record number of people have received hardship assistance from work and income, with an additional 40,000 hardship payments made between September and December 2018, compared to the previous quarter of the same year... More>>


DHBs "Prepared": Junior Doctors Strike Again

The needs of acute patients will be met during tomorrow's junior doctor strike, a DHB spokesperson says... Almost 3000 junior doctors are expected to walk off the job, which will affect all DHBs apart from West Coast District Health Board. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On MBIE’s Social Media Scam

Given the ambit of MBIE’s work, almost any form of social activity could qualify as being part of MBIE’s brief, so the privacy threats posed by this training programme are extensive. The current oversight safeguards seem threadbare to non-existent. More>>


JusTrade: New Campaign For A 21th Century Trade Agenda

‘Critique is no longer enough. If anything is to really change, we need to step away from the existing framework and take a first-principles approach to rethinking what will work for the 21st century.’ More>>


Gordon Campbell: Thompson + Clark Are The Tip Of The Iceberg

How can we tell where and how any lines are being drawn? Oversight is not exactly robust. If it were, Thompson + Clark would have been out of contention for state security work ten years ago. More>>

Trainers: Taratahi Institute of Agriculture In Interim Liquidation

Taratahi employ 250 staff and this year has provided education to over 2500 students. Taratahi owns and manages 8 farms throughout the country. More>>


IPCA Report: Complaints About Deputy Commissioner Wallace Haumaha

The Authority has found that DC Haumaha acted improperly by approaching staff and others to provide information to support him to refute the allegations about his 2016 conduct, or solicited other staff to do so on his behalf... More>>





InfoPages News Channels