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Dr Cullen talks gobbledy gook

Media Release May 10th, 2000

Dr Cullen talks gobbledy gook

Revenue Minister Michael Cullen's view that a contractor can be defined as an employee under the new 're-unionisation' Bill as it is currently worded, while remaining a contractor for tax purposes is gobbledy gook, says the Employers & Manufacturers chief executive Alasdair Thompson.

"Dr Cullen's suggestion that the Government can have two definitions applying to the one workplace relationship for two different purposes simply won't work," said Mr Thompson.

"Under the new Employment Relations Bill the courts will end up defining whether a contractor is an employee or a contractor for tax purposes, just as they have for the existing tax and employment laws.

"The IRD's current policy is based on case law and the same thing will inevitably develop with the ERB.

"Dr Cullen cannot escape the fact that poorly worded legislation will result in the courts making the ultimate decision.

"We can ill afford to have Government constantly introducing new legislation to paper over the cracks of badly thought through law. Dr Cullen should take a lesson from the private sector and try to get it right first time.

"Why the Government has to get into defining independent contractors as employees is beyond understanding.

"The thing we can understand about it is that Government is completely out of touch with today's workplaces where flexibility and efficiency are essential entry criteria for competing in world markets.

"We also understand that for ideological reasons the Government is prepared to suppress the sort of innovation in the workplace that helps maintain our material standards of living."

Further comments: Alasdair Thompson tel 09 367 0911 (bus.) 09 303 3951 (hme) 025 982 024 (mob)

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