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90 day law sees more workers shown door

11 June 2014

90 day law sees more workers shown door

A Government report on employment law changes, including the 90-day trial period and union access rights, not only raises serious concerns but confirms some policies are positively bad for working people, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.

"The MBIE survey shows 27 per cent of employers – more than a quarter - dismissed at least one employee during or at the end of the trial period, up from 19 per cent a year ago, with many employers using the law as a standard employment term rather than to genuinely try out a new staff member.

"No employee interviewed said their performance was monitored or reviewed while they were on their trial period, so it is clear that many employers use this law regardless.

"It was always predicted that the law would encourage poor recruitment practices. This report confirms it.

"Surprisingly the Ministry official releasing the report suggested the trial periods resulted in more employment opportunities, yet the report itself stated there was no evidence the law had an impact on net employment.

"The reality is we had, and still have, a perfectly good law that allows probationary periods but which require an employer to give feedback and notify the worker if they are not meeting the required standard.

"We don't need the 90-day law and under Labour it will go.

"It was predictable that employers would say the reduction in union access rights made no difference to them. However, seven unions said it made it harder to contact members and communicate during bargaining, which means good faith rights were almost certainly affected.

"New Zealand needs a workplace law fit for the 21st Century; one that promotes high quality relationships, encourages productivity and ensures workers are fairly rewarded. This is what Labour's workplace law will seek to achieve.”


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