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

 

Individual employees under the gun

Media release
4 December 2003

Individual employees under the gun

Business NZ says the Employment Relations Law Reform Bill is not a "fine tuning" of the ERA, but an undisguised shifting of the goal posts by attacking individual agreements and freedom of choice in the workplace. It will also bring in a kind of 'Claytons' compulsory arbitration and hold back businesses' ability to change and rejuvenate, especially in the knowledge economy, Chief Executive Simon Carlaw said.

"'Promotion of collective bargaining' has come out as an attack on the individual. "We have serious concerns about the rights of the great majority of employees who have chosen individual agreements. When a number of different provisions are taken together, the result is that employees on individual employment agreements will be disadvantaged. For example, people on individual employment agreements would not be allowed to get better pay than those in a collective agreement if the intention and effect of this is to undermine collective bargaining. It will be hard for an employer to prove that he or she did not have this intention and to prove that the decision has not undermined collective bargaining. The likely result - an erosion of the pay levels of those on individual agreements, to the comparative benefit of those in collectives.

"Small business owners - the great majority of employers - are also under attack. Provisions on contracting out, in combination with the requirement to settle a collective agreement, make it likely that unions will be able to force redundancy payment provisions into collective agreements. This will place a huge contingent liability on businesses that could destroy owners' equity. Small business owners who planned to retire by capitalising on the equity they had built up over the years may find that equity has simply disappeared. This provision will also work against the rejuvenation and growth of businesses - it will be much harder to buy an ailing company and turn it around through changed staffing and management practices. This will hamper growth and innovation, especially in 'knowledge economy' businesses that are prone to change and reinvention. This provision is presently aimed at the service industry but the Minister will have the ability to add to the target list over time.

"'Good faith' will be more problematic, even a mystery. The new requirement for constructive, active engagement has no definition - that will lead to much litigation and a significant increase in compliance complexity and costs. If there's a "serious" breach of good faith, the Employment Relations Authority will have the power to impose the terms of an employment agreement - a 'Claytons' form of compulsory arbitration. It means contractual agreements between employer and employee can be determined by a third party. But the sanctity of contract is paramount for business - if you can't rely on a contractual arrangement, it undermines the whole ability to do business.

"This Bill is a novel prescription for growing new and better-paid jobs on a sustainable basis. Business NZ will be firmly opposing many of the Bill's provisions."

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case...

Obviously, sick people shouldn’t be being treated by doctors and nurses who are themselves sick and potentially infectious. Similarly, Police emergency calls also need to be fielded by people who’re feeling alert, and on top of their game. More>>

 
 

MPs' Computers To Be Searched: Inquiry Into Leak On Simon Bridges' Expenses

An inquiry has been launched to find out who leaked the National Party's expenses to the media... Parliament's speaker, Trevor Mallard, said a Queen's Counsel would lead the inquiry with the help of an employment lawyer and also someone with forensic IT skills. More>>

ALSO:

Teachers Strike: Nationwide Rallies And Marches

Teachers and principals voted for a full day strike to be held on 15 August to send a strong message to the Government that the current collective agreement offers from the Ministry of Education would not fix the crisis in teaching. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: City Council Ends Its Support For Jackson’s Movie Museum

The Wellington City Council and the Movie Museum Limited have today announced a mutually-agreed parting of the ways for a joint project between the Council’s Convention Centre and TMML’s Movie Museum... Both parties remain optimistic for the future of their respective projects. More>>

Pay Equity: Historic Settlement For Education Support Workers

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and the Ministry of Education today signed Terms of Settlement to address a pay equity claim for 329 support workers who work with very young children in early childhood and primary schools. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Stereotypes About Jacinda Ardern

Routinely, female politicians get depicted as either show ponies or battle axes, with little room for anything else in between. .. More>>

Weekend Interviews: "Discriminatory And Racist" Aussie Deportations

The former president of Australia’s Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs says deportations have risen dramatically in Australia since 2014 when ministers and ministerial delegates were given the power to cancel visas - and half of those being deported are New Zealanders. "These are massive numbers, actually escalating dramatically."... More>>

ALSO:

Legal Challenge: Prisoner Has 9 Boxes Of Documents Seized

Human rights organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa says a prisoner they advocate for has had 9 boxes of legal documents seized from him just days before his case against the Department of Corrections was to be heard. More>>

Single-Use Plastic Bags: Govt To Phase Them Out

Single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out over the next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages