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Union's strike threats are ridiculous

Wayne Mapp
National Party MP

23 April 2006

Union's strike threats are ridiculous

“Threats by the EPMU to strike over my bill to establish a 90-day probation period for new workers are ridiculous”, says National Party MP Wayne Mapp.

The Employment Relations (Probationary Employment) Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament last month.

“I am not going to be held to ransom by threats of this nature,” says Dr Mapp.

“The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union needs to grow up and consider what this bill will do for disadvantaged workers.

“This is a win-win bill for employers and employees.

“It will allow employers to take a chance with new employees without facing the risk of expensive and protracted personal grievance procedures, and it will enable people who have not had previous work experience to find their first job and make it easier for others to re-enter the workforce.

“It preserves many fundamental rights for employees – on pay claims, holiday pay and sick leave – and it makes allowance for claims of serious discrimination, such as sexual harassment.

“New Zealand is the only OECD country that does not have a probation period for new employees. The most common length of probation period in the OECD is three months. In Britain it is 12 months.

“This is a moderate bill compared with what other countries like Australia have. If we do not pass this then Australia will become even more attractive to even more New Zealand workers.

“It’s time we joined the rest of the OECD with modern employment law which has probation periods. This bill will promote greater growth and productivity in the economy,” says Dr Mapp.

ENDS

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