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Building Service Contractors - Employment Law

Press Release: 12/5/04
Building Service Contractors of New Zealand

Employment Law Reform Bill

The Employment Law Reform Bill will have four major impacts on the cleaning industry, the BSCNZ told Parliament's Transport and Industrial Law Reform Committee today. It will

* Allow workers the opportunity to claim a government imposed redundancy payment, when a business is sold or a cleaning contract is transferred even when a job is available

* Force clients of cleaning companies seeking to change contractors and cleaners to continue to accept workers they no longer wish to have in their buildings

* Reduce protection for non-union employees by prohibiting employers to offer such employees similar pay and conditions to those given to union workers, and

* Drive down the value of cleaning businesses by requiring buyers of such businesses to offer work to all existing employees or pay redundancy to those not required

"The proposed legislation allows employees the opportunity to claim a redundancy payment from an incoming contractor and then begin work the next day with their old employer. This double-dipping makes no sense at all," said BSCNZ Vice President Brian Young."

"Also, in future, after clients change contractors because of quality issues directly related to specific employees, their new contractor will have to offer jobs to those employees on the same site. Clients will have no say in who provides cleaning services in their buildings"

In addition, our current practise of providing similar pay and conditions to non-union workers has supported the development of good industry-wide standards. Removing that ability will see us return to a fragmented industry. The result will be vulnerable workers, a weaker union and lower standards."

"Finally, many owners of small businesses have worked years to build up their operations. Their chances of realising that hard work through the sale of a business will now be dramatically reduced. In some cases they may simply have to close their businesses and walk away with nothing when they retire."

ENDS

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