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EPMU on employment law: Do as we say, not as we do

Kate Wilkinson MP
National Party Industrial Relations Spokeswoman

11 September 2008

EPMU on employment law: Do as we say, not as we do

National Party Industrial Relations spokeswoman Kate Wilkinson is welcoming the EPMU’s decision to embrace probationary periods for new employees.

“The union, which is an affiliate of the Labour Party, has campaigned strongly against any plans for a probationary employment period, despite the fact that almost all OECD countries have one.

“The EPMU says small businesses of less than 20 staff should not be allowed 90-day probationary periods, even though the union itself hires staff on a six-month probation.”

Ms Wilkinson says the details of the probationary period were contained in documents released yesterday, relating to the row over the sacking of an Act Party candidate.

“I’m not going to get into the rights and wrongs of that particular case, but it is very interesting indeed that the EPMU privately supports probationary periods for itself, but not for anyone else.”

Ms Wilkinson says National’s plan for a 90-day probation period could be invoked only by agreement, and would include good faith bargaining requirements which expressly prohibit rolling 90-day contracts.

“National wants to give small businesses the opportunity to take a chance on workers who they might consider risky at first glance. After the EPMU’s endorsement of probationary periods, we look forward to their support on National’s carefully considered policy.”


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