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Law does not have effective probationary periods

Wayne Mapp
National Party Industrial Relations Spokesman

2 July 2006

Present law does not have effective probationary periods

New Zealand’s present employment law does not provide effective probationary periods for new employees, as the Government claims, says National Party Industrial Relations spokesman Wayne Mapp.

“The assertion today by Ruth Dyson that the Employment Relations Act provides effective probationary periods is simply misleading.

“She knows that the full provisions of mediation and adjudication apply from the very first day of an employment contract.

“When the OECD says New Zealand does not have an effective probationary period it is making the point that employers still face the full personal grievance procedures, even it if is clear within 90 days that new employees do not fit into a workplace team.

“That means that in many cases employers have to pay thousands of dollars in termination costs when the probation period does not work out.

“The Government’s Small Business Advisory Group made it clear it wanted a real probationary period, as exists in all other developed economies, not the sham that exists in the present law.

“A genuine probationary period would make it a lot easier for small employers, in particular, to take a chance with new employees, many of whom have not had experience in the workforce,” says Dr Mapp


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