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Short time for contributing to workplace safety law change

18 March 2014

Employers protest short time for contributing to workplace safety law change

Allowing just three weeks to get to grips with the changes proposed to our workplace safety laws is unreasonable and unrealistic, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says.

"Employers are being given far too little time to make submissions on the 223 page Health and Safety Reform Bill," said Paul Jarvie, EMA's Manager of Workplace Safety.

"The Bill will change the way health and safety is managed for every workplace in the country but employers are being given until April 11th to read it all and understand what it means.

"Haste like this is perverse. It can only lead to a poor outcome.

"Many of the important Regulations for the new law are still being written which means employers are being asked to comment on things that haven't yet been made public and can't know about.

"Businesses won't have enough time to understand the implications for their workplaces, let alone prepare a submission or understand what they have to do get ready for the implementation date of April 2015.

"After all the time and money spent on a Royal Commission, the Task Force and other measures, the short timeframe for making submissions is selling New Zealand short.

"The Task Force had 10 months to prepare their document followed by a submissions round. The Reform Bill resulting is also largely based on the Australian law though two states there have not agreed to it, and it is totally new to New Zealand.

"We need more time to consult with our members to ensure government produces a concise, workable, and acceptable new legal framework.

"It seems the haste is all about political expediency at the cost of due diligence and good governance.

"We are writing a formal letter to the Select Committee protesting the unreasonableness of the timeframe given the magnitude of the changes coming."

ENDS

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