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Thursday, May 5th, 2005

Thursday, May 5th, 2005

Business will welcome the National Party's policy for employment law released in full today for its emphasis on reducing government compliance and bureaucracy, says David Lowe, Manager of EMA Northern's Employment Relations Services.

"Making it easier to employ people would breathe fresh air into employment relations," Mr Lowe said.

"At present business is increasingly distracted from producing goods and services by having to spend more and more time and money on compliance.

"Our assessment overall is the National Party plan is practical, and middle of the road.

"The proposal to introduce a 90 day personal grievance free period is particularly pleasing.

"With this in place, innovation in the workplace would be freed to lift productivity without the risk of expensive pay outs if things didn't work out.

"This week's strike in Auckland by the Stagecoach drivers, despite the Employment Relations Authority saying the employer's offer was fair, shows the effects of the current employment law.

"The policy respects the fact that New Zealanders can make their own decisions and don't need to be told what is good for them.

"Tax payer funding of compulsory trade union education courses is good news too as priority funds have to be made available for urgently needed skills training.

"The changes proposed for the Holidays Act are a reality check as at present people are paid more for being sick than for coming to work.

"But we urge further changes in this area to address the statutory requirement to pay time and a half on a public holiday since, for example, tourists are again finding New Zealand 'closed' on public holidays.

"Negotiation and agreeing with staff is the way forward to address the amounts paid for working on public holidays.

"National also needs to support New Zealand's
250,000 small business owners by providing simple and easy-to-apply employment regulations.

"Small businesses simply do not have the same resources as larger ones to meet the same compliance load. More work needs to be done.

"Employers would especially welcome initiatives that move employment law beyond its current status as a political football."


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