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PSA Calls on MPs to vote against 90-day bill

December 11, 2008
For Immediate Use
PSA calls on National, ACT and United Future MPs to vote against 90-day bill

The Public Service Association has today written to all National, ACT and United Future MPs calling on them to vote against the 90-day fire-at-will Bill.

If the bill becomes law workers employed at enterprises with fewer than 20 staff will lose the right to challenge an unfair dismissal during the first 90 days of a job. This applies to workers in the private and public sectors and involves 97% of New Zealand’s employers.

The PSA has today delivered a letter to Parliament addressed to all National, ACT and United Future MPs calling on them to vote against the 90 bill because it’s unfair and unnecessary.

“It’s unfair because it aims to create disposable workers who can be hired and fired at will and have no ability to challenge their sacking,” says Richard Wagstaff.

“It’s unnecessary because current law already allows employers to hire workers for a trial period.”

“The difference is the current law allows workers employed for a trial period to challenge a dismissal they consider unfair, while the fire-at-will Bill takes that protection away,” says Richard Wagstaff.

The PSA is dismayed that the government is using urgency to pass the Bill into law before Christmas.

“There’s no justification for rushing through such a major change to workers rights,”says Richard Wagstaff.

“It’s undemocratic and it’s dangerous because as the Human Rights Commission states
rushed legislation is potentially risky legislation.”

“This is why we’re urging National, ACT and United Future MPs to vote against the Bill.”

“They should have the Bill scrapped or at the very least allow it to go to a select committee so the major impact it will have on workers’ rights can be debated,” says Richard Wagstaff.


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