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May Day unionists harking back to 'dark old days'

Wayne Mapp MP
National Party Industrial Relations Spokesman

1 May 2006

May Day unionists harking back to 'dark old days'

National's Industrial Relations spokesman, Wayne Mapp, says the union members protesting against his bill to establish a 90-day probation period for new employers are living in the dark ages. "Modern unionists should look at modern employment law in comparable countries.

The sky hasn't fallen in in those countries, and it won't here if my bill passes into law."

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.

Dr Mapp says his bill creates a "win-win" environment for employers and employees.

"It will allow 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.

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

"This is a moderate bill compared with what other countries like Australia have. If we do not pass this then Australia will become even more attractive to even more New Zealand workers.

"It's time we joined the rest of the OECD with modern employment law which has probation periods. This bill will promote greater growth and productivity in the economy," says Dr Mapp.

Ends


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