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Dismissal Law Short-Sighted, Unfair, Undemocratic

“New Government’s Rushed Dismissal Law Short-Sighted, Unfair And Undemocratic”

“The new Government’s intention to rush legislation through Parliament before Christmas allowing small employers to dismiss employees without justification is short-sighed, unfair and undemocratic” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was responding the Government’s use of urgency to amend the Employment Relations Act denying new employees who work for smaller employers protection against unfair dismissal within their first 90 days.

“The practical effect is to increase the vulnerability of new employees at precisely the point when they are most vulnerable. As unemployment increases so does this vulnerability. Denying rights of protection against unfair dismissal is irrelevant for good and experienced employers but dangerous in the hands of bad or inexperienced employers.”

“While district health boards are likely to be too big to be affected, it will have a negative effect on smaller organisations that employ senior doctors such as community trusts and GP practices. Not only will this unfair law increase the risk of exploitation of these newly appointed senior doctors, it also risks creating a recruitment crisis because of the increased risk that senior doctors will not apply for these positions. The biggest losers will be patients. Surely this is not what the Government intended?”

“It is undemocratic that the new Government is trying to use the excuse of economic recession to rush through an unrelated political agenda without both parliamentary and public scrutiny. Denial of democratic rights is the opposite of the principles that Prime Minister John Key said he stood for before and during the election campaign.”

“This will be a critical test of whether the government coalition parties genuinely support fairness and democracy. ACT, United and the Maori parties have the combined power to stop this undemocratic process. The test will be whether they have the conviction and strength of character to exercise it,” concluded Mr Powell.


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