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Contractor Status Unfair &Destructive To Business


Contractor Status Unfair And Destructive To Business Under Proposed Employment Bill.

Auckland. 6 April, 2000 "Unfair and unworkable", is how a specialist in the professional contracting and executive leasing business describes the scope of the new Employment Relations Bill as it effects professional contract work.

"This is legislation that not only appears to impinge on the rights of people to choose how they work, but has the potential to cost people their jobs and destroy a number of businesses in the process, says Kevin Chappell.

He says the current scope of the proposed legislation appears to go way beyond any legitimate attempt to protect the rights of people who currently offer their services to business in a primary contractual way.

He says that while some focus has already been given to the status of contracted courier company owner-drivers - who could well be deemed employees with all that that entails - even greater impact could be made on the tens of thousands of professional services contractors, consultants, free-lancers, and a whole range of services providers who are currently self-employed, independent contractors or work through a company.

"These are the very people who are creating jobs and growth in the economy and have taken on the business risks associated with doing so. These people, and the modern workplace, demands flexibility, yet this Bill removes any and all flexibility that has been gained over the last 20 years.

Chappell says the Bill appears to ignore the nature or intent of any contractor relationship with a company and instead focuses on the level of day to day control exerted over the contractor and the extent to which the work they do is integrated into the business of the company.

"That has major and disturbing implications not just for our business as a professional contracting agency, but equally for a number of others, including the likes of advertising agencies, those that use contract sales agents, consultants or free-lancers.

"This scope even captures professional managers, accountants even some in the media who provide a range of services to clients, and who would loose their value to those clients by being employees."

Chappell says the Bill has the potential to affect so many people that he is organising a forum for people who work on a professional services contracting basis to be given an overview of the legislation by a major law firm on 18 April. He will be looking to this forum to provide input to submissions to the Select Committee sitting on this Bill.

He says people can register for this through his company, Executive Taskforce.

"This issue is that important. We need to bring some market reality back into focus on this while there is still that chance."


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