CTU MEDIA RELEASE
11 September 2008
Just admit it aint broke Kate
“National’s repositioning over its proposal to introduce a 90 day unfairness period into small workplaces won’t fool anyone,” Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly said.
“This week the EPMU has shown employers that the current probation provisions in the Employment Relations Act work to both enable genuine probations for new employees, but also to protect work rights so workers are not unfairly treated during this period.”
“It appears the EPMU had some concerns with a new appointment and set about to ensure adequate support and monitoring was in place for a probationary period. This is lawful and reasonable under the current law.”
“What the EPMU then had to do was ensure fairness when it was dealing with this employee in employment matters knowing that the employee also has appeal rights in these circumstances - something which is also perfectly reasonable when a person's job is at stake.”
“The National Party knows its Fire at Will policy is unpopular with workers, parents and others who know that they and their children will be treated badly under the proposal, and they are trying to dress it up as fair.”
“Firstly National says workers will have to agree to have no rights - but they don’t explain how a worker that insists on fair treatment will not be discriminated against at the appointment process.”
“Secondly, National says they will protect employees from bad faith practices, removing the rights to personal grievances on matters of performance only. We know that will simply mean employers will claim performance as the reason for dismissal, even if it is not.”
“National has failed to explain why they are unwilling to support fair treatment at work. We are not surprised to see National’s sensitivity given the reaction to its policy.”
“What they should do if they really want to act maturely in relation to this matter is accept the EPMU have shown them that the current system works, and stop trying to argue there is a problem needing fixing,” Helen Kelly said.