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Employment bill still harmful, oppressive

The Employment Relations Amendment Bill as reported back to Parliament today remains harmful and oppressive, says BusinessNZ.

None of the provisions that most concern business have been removed by the select committee considering the Bill.

The Bill, which promotes collective bargaining and amends employment rules, is likely to pass into law this Parliamentary term.

Speaking on behalf of regional business organisations EMA, Business Central, the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Otago Southland Employers’ Association and their respective Boards, BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope said businesses had clearly voiced their concerns, but these had not been heard.

55% of submissions were against the Bill and thousands of emails sent to Parliamentarians by concerned businesses. EMA, Business Central, the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Otago Southland Employers’ Association ran a high-profile campaign asking the Government to explain the reasoning for the Bill’s harmful provisions.

"Given current low levels of business confidence, especially among small business, it is unfortunate that the Government has neither listened nor explained its justification for the Bill

"Business cannot support this Bill and will be making our position clear as this Bill progresses through Parliament.

"BusinessNZ is also considering pursuing a claim to the International Labour Organisation or International Court of Justice on parts of the Bill which are contrary to international law.

"Business strongly objects to this Bill’s ability to harm employment relations, jobs and commercial value in New Zealand enterprises."


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