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Costs against employers tallied from new law

Costs against employers tallied from new employment law

The Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) has calculated its 4500 members will pay over $26 million every year to comply with the new employment relations law.

The EMA lodged its submission on the Employment Relations Bill yesterday. It said that, in addition to the costs, the legislation would create large areas of uncertainty for years as new case law is developed, and would mean a loss of competitiveness for many firms by slowing down their ability to respond quickly to changing market conditions.

"Our figures are simple per hour amounts based on the number of hours it will take to comply with the proposed legislation," said EMA's Employment Relations Manager, Peter Tritt.

"For example, the hours forgone by employees attending paid union meetings will potentially cost $17 million a year. Employment relations education leave will likely cost members $4.65 million per year, and the hourly rate for meeting new compliance requirements is a staggering $4.25 million an hour for our membership alone. The number of actual hours employers will spend on compliance is not quantifiable but will amount to a large cost factor. Conservatively the total will be well over $26 million a year.

"In addition there are four major areas where court rulings will be required to establish legal clarity. These are to determine definitions to apply to independent contractors, the conditions relating to communication with employees during wage bargaining, redundancy issues, and what will constitute a fixed term contract.

"What will concern employers in industries exposed to international trade is the extent to which they will be required to discuss changes in the workplace with third parties, namely unions. In some cases several unions may have to be consulted before simple changes can be carried out.

"This has the potential to kneecap the productivity growth of many of our exporters.

"We are also concerned by the uncertainties created by the Bill's impact on established legal principles such as the limited liability of corporate entities."

Further comment: Peter Tritt tel 09 367 0921 (bus)

09 379 8977 (hme)

025 796 807 (mob)


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