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Is Ian Lees-Galloway reaching for the painkillers

Is Ian Lees-Galloway reaching for the painkillers as the Employment Relations Authority becomes the hangover no one wanted?

The Employment Relations Authority’s (ERA) processes around workplace bullying is being questioned regarding the health and safety of ordinary Kiwi workers, says Culture Safe NZ director Allan Halse.

“Labour campaigned for workers’ rights but have inherited a system that doesn’t match their aspirations.

“The Chief of the ERA - Jim Crichton - and Auckland Authority member Nicola Craig are adhering to an old adversarial system at a time when we have a country that has the second worst record in the developed world for workplace bullying.

“Mr Crichton is working with the wrong tools and it’s painting his boss, the Minister, in the wrong light. New Zealand workers should have a safe environment to hear their workplace bullying grievances, but that’s not the case.

“Not allowing testimony of the personal nature that bullying takes, does not recognise the new spirit in which this government is bringing to workplace relations.

“And, for that reason, CultureSafe NZ Ltd will continue to use the provisions of the Protected Disclosure Act 2000 to bring the matter to the attention of both the politicians and the public.

“We will also be writing to the Chief Justice, Dame Sian Elias – who has rebuked judges for widespread bullying - to ask about the Supreme Court’s view about the current approach the ERA is taking regarding process.

“The ERA should offer solutions and look at what Justice Minister Andrew Little is doing regarding the family court by establishing a panel to review its processes. It should not be the last bastion of ‘old-school’ adversarial law.

“I look forward to working positively with the Minister, Mr Crichton and Nicola Craig to effect change.
“However, if I see no change, then the Authority must go,” Halse said.

CultureSafe NZ is New Zealand’s leading agency on supporting thinking about workplace bullying and helping both clients and businesses regarding bullying issues.

1. Link to the Prime Minister’s mental health inquiry https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/inquiry-improve-mental-health-services
2. The cost of bullying to the economy is unquantified in New Zealand. In Australia figures for bullying equate to $36 billion a year.
3. A NZ study had shown that throughout New Zealand 1 in 5 people are bullied in the workplace.
That’s equivalent to 400,000 New Zealanders who are subject to some form of bullying in the work force

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