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Briefing papers show risks in Employment Bill

Media statement

26 April 2000

Briefing papers show risks in Employment Bill - Knowles

Employers' Federation Chief Executive Anne Knowles says briefing papers released under the Official Information Act show employers' concerns about the Employment Relations Bill are well-founded.

Ms Knowles says employers agree with the Department of Labour's advice that the Bill could increase labour and compliance costs while lowering workplace flexibility and employment growth.

"The Treasury briefing paper also reveals concerns over upwards wage pressures, more stoppages over multi-employer agreements, and more litigation over good faith bargaining," Ms Knowles said.

"These are points that employers have also been making over the last six weeks. Hopefully the Government is able to hear the extent of concern over the Bill."

Ms Knowles said Treasury's opinion that employers' interests had not been taken into account over the requirement for them to disclose commercially sensitive information to unions was endorsed by employers.

"Treasury's statement that fiscal implications of the Bill have not been fully costed, and that it would be risky to commit to future expenditure without agreement on the likely scope of the costs, is of great concern.

"There is clearly much for the select committee considering the Bill to investigate. Given the extent of concern expressed by affected parties and government departments over many provisions of the Bill, the select committee has a significant responsibility to ensure that such concerns are resolved in the final form of the legislation. The select committee must ensure that it is satisfied that it has enough time to do this given the impact that a hastily drafted and passed law could have on employers' confidence to employ."

Ends

Contact Anne Knowles 04 4994111 or 021 425868 Kathryn Asare 021 555744


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