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Another embarrassing backdown from Govt

Dr Wayne Mapp
National Industrial Relations Spokesman

31 August 2004

Another embarrassing backdown from Govt

The Holidays Act Amendment Bill is another embarrassing backdown from a U-turn-happy government, says National's Industrial Relations spokesman Dr Wayne Mapp.

"The Government has been forced to redraft the Bill which originally gave employees who call in sick on a statutory holiday the right to claim for time-and-a-half plus a day off.

"But it doesn't end there - Labour has had to back down on its original sick leave provisions as well."

Labour originally wanted an employee entitlement of five consecutive sick days before an employer could ask for a medical certificate.

In select committee this was reduced to three but the new amendment sees it reduced to one day, provided the employer will pay for the doctors visit.

Dr Mapp says National and numerous employers and employer groups warned the Government that even three days was a recipe for absenteeism.

"But the amended clause has no teeth - if an employer wants a medical certificate they have to pay for their employee to go to the doctor and get one. Many simply won't bother at a cost of at least $50.

"This Bill will not deal with the persistent malingerer.

"A proper reform of employment relations will have to wait for the return of a National Government in 2005," says Dr Mapp.


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