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Code of Good Faith clarified for patient safety

Code of Good Faith clarified for patient safety

Minister of Labour Ruth Dyson today announced that she would seek to confirm the intention of the Code of Good Faith for the Public Health Sector in Schedule 1B of the Employment Relations Act.

The Code of Good Faith contains an obligation for employers to provide for patient safety during industrial action by ensuring that life preserving services are available to prevent a serious threat to life or permanent disability.

However the interpretation in the Schedule does not explicitly mention permanent disability, leaving it open as to whether life preserving services means preventing death and nothing more.

"I have decided to insert a clause in the interpretation of the Schedule which will ensure that the prevention of permanent disability is explicitly covered as part of life preserving services," said Ruth Dyson.

"This is not new policy but confirmation of the intention of the original code which was developed by and agreed to by the Council of Trade Unions and District Health Boards."

"I have taken advice from the Department of Labour and consulted with the Minister of Health Pete Hodgson, unions, District Health Boards and other interested parties on the wording and Cabinet has today approved it. I will now ask for an Order in Council to insert the clause."

"This change will ensure that patient safety during industrial action continues to be of paramount concern and enables the right to strike to be balanced with life preserving and permanent disability prevention services in our public health system."

ENDS

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