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Stronger protections for casual workers welcomed

www.ausa.auckland.ac.nz

Media Release – 23 June 2008 – For Immediate Use

Auckland students welcome stronger protections for casual workers

Auckland students welcome yesterday’s Government announcements to increase protections for temporary and casual workers, and to also run awareness campaigns to ensure employees know their rights at work.

“These developments are highly relevant to students. Many balance part-time work with their studies, and tend to work in areas with a high concentration of casual employment, namely the hospitality, service, retail, and call centre areas,” says AUSA President David Do.

Many students turn to part-time work to support themselves often because they’re not eligible for support through student allowances. Even borrowing living costs off the student loan is not enough to even cover rent in most parts of Auckland.

Some international students also work part-time, and are more likely to be subject to substandard treatment. They face increased difficulties due to English language barriers and lack of knowledge about New Zealand conditions.

“There is potential misuse of casual employment relationships by employers. It is not unusual for some students who are effectively part-time employees to have been kept permanently on casual contracts,” says David Do.

“Facing increased financial pressures, student workers may not be able or willing to assert their rights if employers do not give them their minimum legal entitlements in pay, sick leave, training, and holidays.”

“We support all efforts to increase workers’ and employers’ awareness of their rights at work, and look forward to joining in any future campaigns planned in that area,” says AUSA President David Do.

ENDS

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