Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Faster Decisions On Employment Disputes

Hon Simon Bridges

Minister of Labour

26 April 2013 Media Statement

Faster Decisions On Employment Disputes

Resolving employment disputes more quickly is one of the improvements proposed in the Employment Relations Amendment Bill introduced to Parliament today.

Labour Minister Simon Bridges says the Bill is aimed at improving fairness and flexibility in workplace relations.

“While most of the proposed changes have already been announced, an additional change aimed at speeding up Employment Relations Authority processes is also proposed,” says Mr Bridges.

“This should be welcomed by employers and workers alike. It will ensure parties who are in dispute get a resolution more quickly from the Authority.”

Under the change, the Authority will have to either provide an oral determination at the end of its hearing, followed by a written record within three months; or at the end of the hearing provide an oral indication to the parties, subject to additional information being received. Again a three-month deadline would apply from when the additional information is received.

“An immediate oral determination will provide the parties with an opportunity to consider their respective positions and whether they may wish to settle their dispute between themselves, without waiting for the Authority to issue the final written record. This makes good sense,” says Mr Bridges.

“All in all, the Employment Relations Amendment Bill proposes changes to employment relations law that are pragmatic and aimed at giving employers and employees more certainty, fairness and flexibility.

“These are all important ingredients in lifting productivity and helping businesses to grow and create jobs.” Mr Bridges says.

Other changes include:

• The extension of flexible working arrangements so any employee, not just caregivers, can ask for flexible work. Employees will also be able to ask for flexible work arrangements from the start of their employment.

• A return to the original position in the Employment Relations Act where the duty of good faith does not require the parties to conclude a collective agreement. Instead, the Employment Relations Authority may declare whether collective bargaining has concluded.

• Allowing employers to opt out of multi-employer bargaining.

• Allowing for partial pay reductions in cases of partial strike action.

• Removing the 30-day rule that forces non-union members to take union terms and conditions.

• Changes to Part 6A so employers have greater certainty over the transfer of employees in certain industries such as cleaning, catering, orderly and laundry – if there is a restructuring or change in the contracted service provider. Small to medium-sized enterprises with fewer than 20 employees will also be exempt.

• Greater clarity as to what confidential information employers are required to provide to affected workers in situations such as dismissal or redundancy.

• Parties will be required to provide notice of a strike or lock-out.

Further information: http://dol.govt.nz/er/services/law/legislationreviews/er-amendment-bill.asp


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news