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Removal of valuable employment protections defies logic

30 October 2012

Removal of valuable employment protections defies logic

The Public Service Association says government moves to remove employment protections under Part 6A of the Employment Relations Act defy logic.

As part of changes to labour laws the Labour Minister has announced that the provisions of Part 6A will no longer apply to small and medium sized enterprises.

The PSA has represented groups of vulnerable and low-paid workers who have had the much needed protection offered by Part 6A of the legislation.

“It doesn’t make sense to split workers off and take away those protections, simply based on the size of the organisation they are moving to,” says PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott.

“It creates two standards for which there seems to be no rationale but to give wholesale benefit to employers and drive down wages and conditions.”

Brenda Pilott says it’s also important to remember that the government’s controversial 90 Day legislation initially only covered small to medium-sized enterprises of fewer than 20 employees and then it was extended.

“If previous experience is anything to go by, this change could end up being applied more widely."

A raft of changes announced earlier in the year have also been confirmed, including removing the requirement to conclude collective bargaining, allowing employers to opt out of multi-employer bargaining and allowing partial pay reductions in the case of partial strikes.

“These changes tip the balance even more in favour of employers at a time when workers’ rights have already been weakened. They are an attack on good faith and collective bargaining, and will only serve to create a more litigious industrial relations environment,” says Brenda Pilott.


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