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90 Day Bill gives workers little support

90 Day Bill gives workers little support

It is with concern that Downtown Community Ministry looks on at the latest political effort to attack vulnerable workers – the 90 Day Bill.

Put forward by National MP Waynne Mapp, the Employment Relations (Probationary Employment) Amendment Bill proposes a 90 day trial period for new workers where dismissal can be made without recourse.

DCM believes the Bill will make it even more difficult to sustain a job, and will add to the stress of those who already find it daunting to enter the workforce.

Graham, a former client who now works as a foodbank interviewer, says people like him who have been out of work for some time don’t need more things to worry about like a probation period.

“I was very nervous when I started here. I tried really hard to get everything right and make no mistakes.”

He even remembers worrying at home while in bed taking a sick day off that he was being paid when he wasn’t even working.

Many people he knows have addictions and are therefore unlikely to ever hold down a steady job. For these people, the 90 Day Bill will create an even bigger barrier into the workforce. But, Graham hopes a more flexible employer culture will develop, where those without a chance can be given one.

When parliament again votes on this Bill DCM hopes to see it heavily defeated, and shown as an unacceptable attempt to provide employers with greater power and less accountability in the treatment of their employees. Such a fluid employment place shows no opportunity or respect for those with hard backgrounds entering the workforce.

The 90 Day Bill passed its first reading in the House on March 16 and is currently at the select committee stage.

A public demonstration is being held against the 90 Day Bill at Parliament at 12:30pm tomorrow.

Ends

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