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Employers' Conference Features New Law

Employers' Conference Features New Law, Experts, Controversy

Media are invited to the NZ Employers' Federation annual conference on May 24 at the Wellington stadium. Set to be the liveliest for some years, the conference will focus on the New employment landscape that will come about once the new Employment Relations Bill is passed.

Minister of Labour Keynote speaker is Hon Margaret Wilson, Minister of Labour, on Employment relations - looking to the future.

'Good faith' Canadian employment lawyer Henry Dinsdale is travelling from Toronto especially to address the conference. Mr Dinsdale is an expert in good faith bargaining which will soon be a feature of NZ law. 'Good faith' will mean employers having to consult with unions over a wide range of issues, or face compliance orders and fines up to $40,000. It will mean companies having to open their books to unions during bargaining. Employers are extremely concerned about the threat to their commercial confidentiality from this.

Political debate The conference includes a lively debate between Max Bradford and Richard Prebble in the 'blue corner' against CTU President Ross Wilson in the 'red corner', over the merits of the new legislation.

Controversial issue Special guest speaker, Irish economist Donal Curtin will look at how employment flexibility affects productivity. This will be controversial, since the main justification given for the new law is that the Employment Contracts Act caused productivity to fall, a claim denied by supporters of the present Act.

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