Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Decision proves urgency of health and safety reforms

July 4, 2013

CTU Media Release

High Court decision proves urgency of health and safety reforms

A High Court decision that those in charge of a business can escape responsibility for workplace safety shows the urgent need for stronger health and safety laws, says the Council of Trade Unions.

The CTU is calling for the full implementation of the Health & Safety Taskforce recommendations, which are currently under consideration by the Government.

CTU president Helen Kelly says the High Court decision will make work in New Zealand more dangerous unless the law is changed.

“New Zealand workers are being put at risk by a system that allows companies to contract out their work and with it their health and safety obligations.

“This decision will only make work more dangerous. We are not going to improve our appalling rate of workplace deaths and injuries so long as employers are allowed to simply outsource responsibility for the health and safety of their staff.”

Helen Kelly says contracting out of health and safety is prevalent in some of our most dangerous industries, including construction.

“Most of the construction work in the country is contracted then sub-contracted by the large construction firms because the incentives are significant. The big construction firms can play contractors off against each other and dispense with any obligations to their staff.

“The law needs to recognise that when a company gets a job and contracts out the work then it must retain responsibility for all workers at the workplace. Without this, sub-contracting simply becomes the easy way out and it’s workers and their families who pay the price.

“The Taskforce recommended a new legal regime based on the Australian Model Law where the ‘person in charge of the business’ has the primary responsibility for health and safety and liability where duties are breached.

“This is an essential change that New Zealand workers deserve and that will make them safer at work. This change has been supported by unions and business and must now be adopted by Government as a matter of urgency.”

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.

“National desperately wanted to pass its Employment Relations Amendment Bill this week. It hasn’t been able to do that and will now have to wait until Tuesday.

“At the same time a petition launched by Labour calling on the Government to dump changes to clause 44 - which would do away with minimum entitlements to smoko breaks for thousands of ordinary working Kiwis - has attracted 10,052 signatures in its first 24 hours. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Tea Breaks 'Gone By Lunch Time'

“How cynical that on the eve of Labour weekend, the National government is pushing through legislation that takes away the statutory right to tea and meal breaks along with collective bargaining protections, and makes vulnerable workers jobs even less secure." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news