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Employment changes will help businesses stay viable in NZ

October 30th, 2012

Employment changes will help businesses stay viable and stay in New Zealand

Employment changes outlined today will go some way towards keeping businesses nimble in the current environment, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (EMA) says.

"The suite of changes announced will help secure jobs and keep them in New Zealand," said EMA's chief executive Kim Campbell.

"Where unions and employers work constructively together for the mutual benefit of the business and its employees there will be little change," he said.

"But unfortunately, because of the rigidity of our labour laws, there are well known examples where businesses needed to adapt but found they could not.

"Today's adjustments will retain a robust bargaining process between employers and unions but, in the end, businesses will now be able to assure their viability by being able to conclude bargaining over work place conditions even if after the robust process they fail to agree.

"Also we have seen examples where changes needed in a workplace have been stymied by the same people who then complain when their jobs disappeared offshore.

"Employers had been hoping for even more flexibility than has been announced today.

"Unions will still have a monopoly on collective bargaining. Giving workers a choice over who is to represent them would have been welcome, especially as that would address any questions over whether a union's stance is truly representative of their employees' views.

"The changes to Part 6A, while welcome, fall well short of what is required.

"Any law that guarantees employment to members of a union is flawed and should have been repealed in its entirety.

"For example a business owner who dispenses with a cleaning company's services for sub-standard work may still find themselves with the same people responsible for the sub-standard work."

ENDS

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