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National delighted probation bill passes

Wayne Mapp National Party MP

16 March 2006

National delighted probation bill passes first reading

National Party MP Wayne Mapp is delighted that his member's bill to establish a 90-day probation period for new workers has passed its first reading.

The Employment Relations (Probationary Employment) Amendment Bill was referred to a select committee last night after passing its first reading 63-58 in Parliament.

"This will give both employers and employees a real opportunity to debate the issues before the select committee," Dr Mapp says.

"This is the critical employment law issue. The Labour Government should now accept they were wrong to resist the recommendation of the Small Business Advisory Group to introduce a probation period.

"It's time for Labour to take off its ideological blinkers and come into the 21st Century. They should take a leaf out of Tony Blair's book and introduce probation periods.

"This bill will enable employers to take a chance with new employees without facing the risk of expensive and protracted personal grievance procedures.

"And it will enable people who have not had previous work experience to find their first job and make it easier for others to re-enter the workforce.

"The bill preserves fundamental rights for employees on pay claims, holiday pay and sick leave. It makes allowance for claims of serious discrimination, such as sexual harassment.

"New Zealand is the only OECD country that does not have a probation period for new employees. The most common length of probation period in the OECD is three months. In Britain it is 12 months.

"It's time for New Zealand to join the rest of the OECD with modern employment law which has probation periods. The bill will promote greater growth and productivity in the economy," says Dr Mapp.


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