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Triangular Bill should not proceed

A proposed Bill which seeks to add further regulation to New Zealand’s industrial framework in the labour hire sector should not proceed says the EMA.

In its submission on the Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Amendment Bill, the EMA states that the proposed legislation goes beyond the scope of what was intended and it creates more questions than solutions.

"Once again, it is pitched as if business has a flagrant disregard for its workforce - permanent or temporary - and regulation is the only way forward," says Kim Campbell, CEO, EMA.

"At a time when we need an increasingly dynamic labour market the Government is seeking to add more compulsion and reduce flexibility. This Bill adds unnecessary complexity to an arrangement that is working for the majority of those involved," he says.

Businesses call on labour hire companies when they need to hire staff on a temporary basis to perform specific requirements for them. The labour hire company has a pool of workers it manages and assigns to clients on request.

"This type of arrangement has been around for many years and is necessary for many industries. However, the Bill is another example of trying to create an industrial relations framework that is no longer relevant to the modern workplace," says Kim Campbell, CEO, EMA.

The Bill seeks to have temporary workers covered by the respective collective agreements of where they are working, and the right to raise a personal grievance against the company they have been hired to and the hire company that places them.

"In circumstances where a temporary worker or a client is not satisfied, there are robust mechanisms in place to address this, we don’t need more," says Mr Campbell.

"When the consequences of this Bill are looked at in conjunction with other proposed industrial relations changes, and the additional operating costs businesses will need to recover such as regional fuel taxes, there seems to be a view that enterprises will simply be able to transition their business model.

"This is an arrogant disregard for the range and types businesses that exist in New Zealand. We need to find a better way to prepare for the future of work and meet the requirements of a modern, agile economy," says Mr Campbell.

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