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State Sector Amendment Bill

The Government has introduced legislation to firm up the rights of employees during public service reorganisation.

The State Sector Amendment Bill was introduced to Parliament this week and deals with the issue of when payment for redundancy is appropriate. Redundancy compensation will not be payable to an employee who is offered a substantially similar position on no less favourable terms and conditions of employment. The changes will encompass staff affected by the reorganisation of the Department of Work and Income and the Ministry of Social Policy.

"It is important that there are not gaps in the system that allow an employee to collect a large redundancy even though they have a job offered to them that is not significantly different. That would be a waste of taxpayer funds," Trevor Mallard said.

"It is really important that the rights of staff are protected when their employing department changes because of a reorganisation of the public service. Their conditions of employment should not be eroded just because there is a change of their employer.

"These are issues that, in the past, have had to be looked at and dealt with by legislation on a case by case basis. The legislation introduced to Parliament this week creates a more uniform approach to dealing with some of the nuts and bolts issues of state sector reorganisation and in the long term will save Parliament time."

Trevor Mallard said other technical changes allow for changes to departments to be registered by Order in Council on the First Schedule of the State Sector Act 1988.

"For example, when the Government Superannuation Fund Department was abolished in March 1988, it took more than a year for Parliament to pass legislation to remove it from the State Sector Act. It made no difference to operational matters but merely tidied up the legal affairs. Ultimately it was an unnecessary waste of Parliament's time and we want to avoid that in the future," Trevor Mallard said.

Ends

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