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ER Bill Needs Clarification

Minister Of Finance Acknowledges ER Bill Needs Clarification

Federated Farmers has welcomed the Minister of Finance's acknowledgement today that the status of contractors under the Employment Relations Bill needs to be clarified.

The Minister was speaking to a Wellington Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Federated Farmers Vice President Tom Lambie said that rural contractors such as sharefarmers and Rural Delivery couriers have real concerns that they will become employees against their will.

"Agriculture is heavily dependent on many different types of contractors, so the uncertainty of the Bill has caused very real concerns. If the Government clarifies the Bill so that its coverage is more restricted, then that will be a huge relief to farmers and contractors," said Mr Lambie.

While the Minister of Labour has stated that no contractor will become an employee against their wishes, the wording of clause (6) is so wide as to include many contractors. Clause 154 enables any individual, union official or Labour Inspector to apply for an individual to be reclassified, which will set a precedent for every person doing similar work.

ENDS

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