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ERB could dampen Jobs and Growth in Tourism Sector

MEDIA RELEASE

10 May 2000


Employment Relations Bill could dampen Jobs and Growth in Tourism Sector

The Employment Relations Bill (ERB) could impact on jobs in the tourism sector unless changes are made before it becomes law, Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) Chief Executive Glenys Coughlan said today.

The TIA spoke to their submission at the Employment and Accident Insurance select committee hearing on the Bill this evening.

"TIA are aware that the legislation will be passed by Parliament and we have been as constructive as possible in our submission. However, there are aspects of the legislation as it stands that could impact on jobs in, and growth of, the tourism sector.

"The thrust of our submission is that tourism is a 24 hour a day, seven day a week business, is seasonal, and therefore employs people under a variety of different conditions - from casuals, to full timers, part-timers and contractors. Tourism needs to continue to have the flexibility of this sort of workforce if it is to continue to grow.

"Specific issues that TIA members are concerned about include: The reduction in labour market flexibility that the bill will introduce. This is particularly concerning for the tourism sector. ?./more

The requirement for employers to give employees time-off on ordinary pay for union education. This could severely affect the ability of tourism operators to continue operating during this period, without incurring significant new costs.

The introduction of industry-wide strikes, that could severely cripple the tourism industry. The increase in compliance costs imposed on employers through this legislative reform. Small operators in particular will find the increased cost and time associated with this legislation burdensome. The definition of a working day as being Monday to Friday needs clarification, given the tourism industry is a 24 hour, seven day a week operation."

Ms Coughlan said that TIA was concerned about the impact of this legislation on the tourism industry - both in terms of business viability and the benefits that tourism brings to all regions of the country

"As New Zealand's biggest export earner, tourism plays a large role in the well-being of all regions in New Zealand. At present 1 in 12 New Zealanders is employed in the industry. We believe that if this bill is enacted as currently drafted, it will dampen employment growth in the tourism sector.

"For that reason, we are asking the select committee to consider the implications on industries such as tourism, and make changes that will ensure the continued growth and prosperity of tourism in New Zealand," Ms Coughlan said.

ENDS

More information: Simon King 04 494 1845/025 807 252

The Tourism Industry Association represents 3,500 businesses and organisations within the tourism industry Members include airlines, airport companies, and regional tourism organisations, rental car, coach and taxi companies, inbound tour operators, travel agents, adventure tourism operators, accommodation providers, tourism attractions, researchers, training organisations and tourism services providers Tourism is New Zealand's largest export earner - accounting for 16 % of this country's export earnings The Tourism Industry Association organises the New Zealand Tourism Conference, TRENZ and the New Zealand Tourism Awards

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