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Adams: Govt 'on notice' over Holidays Bill

Adams: Govt 'on notice' over Holidays Bill

United Future's today supported the First Reading of the Holidays Bill, but put the Government on notice that it must make sure that the Select Committee process irons out flaws that would hit the business community.

"We're taking the approach that this Bill has the important virtue of clarifying, simplifying and overhauling the Holidays Act and that is something that needs to be done," Paul Adams, United Future's industrial relations spokesman, said today.

"But United Future is very aware of the Bill's limitation and potential pitfalls - key among them the risk of hitting business with even greater costs than they already bear," Mr Adams, a small businessman for in excess of 30 years, said.

"If these matters are not addressed adequately in the processes that lie ahead, then the Government knows that we will not back this legislation any further.

"It may well be an approach that proves a little too sophisticated for some Opposition parties that simply oppose for the sake of opposing," Mr Adams said today.

"United Future is not prepared to throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water. There is considerable merit in this Bill,

"But like National, we do not want to load additional costs onto small business, given the fact that 95 percent can be defined as small firms employing fewer than 10 staff."

Speaking in Parliament today, Mr Adams said it was crucial that issues surrounding holidays were dealt with, given that leave entitlements were the subject of 62,000 inquiries to the Employment Relations hotline last year, and some 68 percent of complaints to the Labour Department inspectorate relate to annual and public holidays.

The whole area is a mess and it needs fixing now, he said.

United Future's approach on this Bill was indicative of the role it was playing across the board, Mr Adams said.

"We have committed ourselves to be constructive in our approach to the legislation that comes before this House, and that is an approach that is appreciated by the average Kiwi, who has become tired of knee-jerk party-line politics," he said.

United Future has already indicated that it will oppose the Holidays (Four Weeks Annual Leave) Amendment Bill.

"The cost to business and the country is too great. The objective of helping workers is laudable, but can be better achieved through a creative and flexible approach to work than by loading a further burden on employers."

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