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Employers Seek Facts on Employment Relations Law

Employers Seek Facts on Employment Relations Legislation

A series of seminars to help employers understand the implications of the employment relations legislation have received unprecedented interest from employers throughout the central part of New Zealand from Gisborne and New Plymouth in the north to Nelson.

Wellington employers have been quick to register and that demand has been such that three seminars have now been scheduled in Wellington - the first will be held tomorrow Friday 31st March.

Rodger Kerr-Newell, the chair of The Employers and Manufacturers' Association (Central) said that over 350 confirmed bookings had already been received for the scheduled seminars even before the promotion had begun.

"Employers are understandably nervous about what the bill will mean to their businesses, and are keen to find out what the practical effects will be.

"These seminars address practical and strategic issues they will have to take into account when planning. These issues include entirely new situations and requirements, such as multi-employer collective agreements, union access to the workplace, good faith bargaining and changes in the mediation process," Mr Kerr-Newell said.

"Our offices throughout the region have been receiving continual requests for information. The 10 seminar series was our initial response but we have subsequently recognised the need for extra sessions in places such as Masterton and Wanganui.

"EMA (Central) is also providing a service to individual employers. This assesses their existing situation and looks at how specifically the new legislation will affect them. This is proving particularly popular with larger employers."

Mr Kerr-Newell, who is also chief executive of Hutt City Council, said the proposed changes are so profound that EMA (Central) is expecting to provide further specific training and other services once the bill is enacted and the exact provisions are known.

"While we have reason to believe there will be changes to some of the more outrageous proposals, employers do recognise the substantive policy will be implemented.

"This means fundamental changes to employment practices - irrespective of the debate as to whether the moves are good or bad for employers or employees. Thus, employers recognise the need to ensure they are ready to implement the changes with as little disruption as possible," Mr Kerr-Newell said.

Ends

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