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Labour's Employment Relations policy launched

Hon Paul Swain
Minister of Labour

30 August 2005 Media Statement

Labour's Employment Relations policy launched

Labour Minister Paul Swain today launched Labour's Employment Relations policy, aimed at promoting both good workplace relationships and productivity.

Paul Swain said that Labour recognises that building a high wage, high skill economy requires continuous productivity improvements. In partnership with employers and unions, Labour aims to boost productivity by improving:

- leadership and management capability,

- workplace culture, innovation and technology,

- networking,

- how work is organised, and

- measuring what matters and investing in people and skills.

“The Employment Relations Act has worked very well since becoming law in 2000. To radically alter it now – as National promises to do – would turn back the clock and destroy all the good work of our past two terms in government.

“In our next term in government, Labour will:

- Continue to fine-tune the Employment Relations Act.

- Ensure greater protection for dependent contractors.

- Strengthen the employment rights of temporary workers.

- Investigate options for the protection and portability of workers’ entitlements to leave and superannuation as they move from one job to another.

- Amend the Employment Relations Act to ensure that the policy intent of the protections for vulnerable workers in relation to successor contracting, and contracting mechanisms that have the affect of avoiding the Act, are fully achieved by the legislation.

"The bad old days of the Employment Contracts Act will be back before lunchtime if National gets its way. Only Labour can strike a fair balance between the needs of workers and business," Mr Swain said.

“This policy builds on Labour's achievements since 1999 and will contribute to New Zealand's continued economic prosperity," Mr Swain said.


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