Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Workplace "safety" Bill based on false premises

Media release Thursday, November 1st, 2001

Workplace "safety" Bill based on false premises, mocks business compliance costs

The new workplace safety Bill introduced yesterday is based on completely false information and makes a farce of Government's intentions to lower business compliance costs, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

"The Bill will not make one workplace safer than it is right now," said Peter Tritt, EMA's Manager of Advisory Services.

"Commerce Minister Paul Swain has clearly thrown in the towel over business compliance with this so-called workplace 'safety' Bill.

"It's based on completely false premises. Official statistics show you are safer at work than at home, than on the roads whether walking, cycling or driving, or when pursuing a leisure activity.

"The Minister simply wants to punish employers rather than face the facts.

"Employers have done a good job reducing workplace accidents over the past decade. In February 2000, Parliament's own Select Committee on the re-nationalisation of ACC stated: "What became clear... from the evidence received was the steady drop in workplace accidents since 1994 has been as a direct result of the introduction of the health and safety legislation. This has been the greatest and most significant factor in reducing workplace accidents."

"The Bill's mish-mash of ways to make employers pay more than elsewhere in the world relative to their size will hurt good employers along with those with poor safety records.

"Denying employers the right to insure against fines increased up to $500,000 demonstrates the Minister really has learnt nothing about business over the past two years - it smacks of petulance, not sensible regulation.

"Employers will be in a no-win situation; they would face punitive liability, and with no way to manage the extent of the risk they become exposed to.

"Ill-defined conditions such as stress and fatigue are more likely to occur away from the workplace, but employers will become liable for whatever mischievous claim an errant employee may wish to bring.

"Stress and fatigue widen the prize pool considerably in the lotto game employers are being obliged to fund.

"Under this legislation the chances of being hit with a claim go up hugely even though a workplace might have an enviable safety record.

"The best that can be hoped for from the Bill is, again, after much lobbying and unnecessary acrimony, that Government will make the necessary amendments, as it did with the Employment Relations Bill when that first faced the cold scrutiny of common sense."

Comments: Peter Tritt tel 09 367 0921 (b)

09 845 5532 (h)

025 796 807

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Global Factors Facing TV3

Oaktree Capital gave MediaWorks a gallows reprieve in 2013 by pushing out its former Australian owner Ironbridge and facilitating a receivership-driven restructure that enabled MediaWorks to shed a burden of tax liabilities and international programme purchasing contracts. Oaktree eventually assumed 100% ownership of Mediaworks in 2015.

But here’s the rub. In May of this year, Oaktree itself was bought into by the giant Canadian firm Brookfields Asset Management... In the light of the Brookfields stake and the uncertain state of the global economy, Oaktree has come under pressure to shed and/or streamline the underperforming assets in its portfolio. More>>


'Armed Response Teams': Armed Police "Will Cause American-Style Shootings"

The Police Commissioner's announcement that squadcars of officers with automatic rifles will patrol New Zealand's streets is dangerous and unnecessary, according to the criminal justice community organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa. The ... More>>


Control Orders: Amnesty Says Don't Rush Terrorism Bill

"The problem is, we often see the word “terrorism” being applied broadly by oppressive regimes to detain innocent people who're simply rallying for a better life." More>>


Expert Reaction: $17 million To Fight Online Extremist Content

The Department of Internal Affairs will double its work investigating and preventing violent extremism online. Funding will also help bolster the Chief Censor's work to make fast decisions about harmful content. More>>


Could Do Better: Post-Sroubek Review Of Deportation Info

Ms Tremain acknowledges that the review highlighted some aspects of the process that can be improved and makes five main recommendations to strengthen the existing processes for preparing files for decision-makers. Those recommendations are: More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A New Book On The Leaky Homes Scandal

We all know that journalism is short of cash and under pressure from the speed, brevity and clickbait pressures of the 24/7 news cycle… but hey, given the right subject and a sufficiently stubborn journalist, it can still surpass most of the works of the academic historians... More>>

Regulation: Review Finds NZTA Road Safety Failings

The independent review, carried out by consultant agency MartinJenkins, lists at least 10 reasons for the failures including the agency being focused on customer service at the expense of its policing functions. More>>


Rod Carr: Climate Change Commission Chair-Designate Announced

Climate Change Minister James Shaw has today announced the appointment of Dr Rod Carr as Chair-designate for the Climate Change Commission. More>>


Compliance Complaints: 'Putting Right' Holidays Act Underpayment In Health

The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark. More>>





InfoPages News Channels