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Report boasts about measures National plans to axe

Report boasts about measures National plans to axe

The union which represents some of the lowest paid women workers in New Zealand is calling on the Government to explain why a new report to the UN on policies that support women in New Zealand is boasting about the very policies National is the process of axing.

The Report, prepared by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, reviews our progress in addressing areas where women are disadvantaged.

Service and Food Workers Union National Secretary John Ryall said today that Part 6A of the Employment Relations Act was top of the list of New Zealand government achievements to address barriers to women’s participation in employment.

“The 2006 introduction of a legal protection for workers in areas very vulnerable to contracting out, such as cleaning, was certainly something to celebrate and the report rightly identifies it as a major step towards supporting low paid disadvantaged women workers,” he said.

“However, what the report does not say is that the Government plans to get rid of it!”

John Ryall said the SFWU was calling on the Minister of Women’s Affairs to explain why the misleading report did not include an update to say the very provision that was being trumpeted as a key achievement was being gutted.

“Most importantly, our union is calling on the National Government to heed their own evidence and keep this provision in place, as they obviously accept that it is effective in addressing the huge issues faced by low paid women workers,” he said.

Part 6A of the Employment Relations Act ensures workers employed by contractors in specific areas which are very vulnerable to contracting out do not lose their jobs every time a new contractor takes over. National plans to exempt all contractors with fewer than 20 staff.

“In the cut throat world of contracting, this will put impossible pressure on reputable contractors employing more staff and undermine the whole purpose of the provision,” he said.


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