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OSH changes come at a price

OSH changes come at a price

The National Party’s targeting a new OSH information campaign for more criticism.

“The Industrial Relations Select Committee was told these new and confusing laws will cost nearly $5 million to administer, that’s a massive 16% increase in their costs,” says the National Party’s Industrial Relations spokesman Roger Sowry.

He’s commenting after today’s launch of a new Occupational Safety and Health web-site to highlight changes to the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act, which was rushed through Parliament before Christmas.

“It’s clear an information campaign’s necessary, because most businesses don’t understand it and neither do many of the Labour MP’s who voted for it.

“The new law introduces a whole new area of risk for employers, which now face the prospect of legal action over workplace stress and prosecutions brought by unions,” Mr Sowry says.

“The legislation has little to do with improving workplace safety, but it’s more about paying back the union movement for its support of the Labour Government.

“Last year the Industrial Relations Select Committee was told OSH expects to spend an extra $4 million on operational expenses connected to the new law.

“Essentially that’s just salaries and publicity,” Mr Sowry says.

“And even worse, we were told nearly a million dollars would be spent on capital expenses, which in a nutshell are cars and computers.

“There’s no doubt these added costs, of up to $5 million, will be passed on to employers.

“The National Party will be watching the education campaign closely to make sure it reflects legislation and is not a propaganda exercise,” Mr Sowry says.

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