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Labour will repeal fire-at-will legislation

12 December 2008 Media Statement

Labour will repeal fire-at-will legislation

The next Labour Government will repeal National’s short-sighted and ill-considered fire-at-will legislation, Labour spokesperson Trevor Mallard confirmed today.

He criticised both the substance of the Bill and the process used to pass it.

“A muddled Government is making a farce of fundamental employment rights. Just how muddled this Government is was shown today when National’s whips accepted an ACT amendment to bring forward the legislation to 1 March without even consulting with the Minister. If they can’t get basic procedures right, how on earth can anyone trust their legislation?”

Trevor Mallard described as laughable Kate Wilkinson’s claim to be “always open to ideas” on employment law reform.

“At the very time National is ramming through the fire-at-will employment legislation that removes the right of employees in small to medium-sized businesses to take personal grievance claims, she makes her cynical claim that National will listen to ideas about expanding the scheme,” Trevor Mallard said.

“Her reported comments make even more of a mockery of National’s decision to bypass the select committee process with the 90-day-Bill which makes such a fundamental change to employee rights.

“On one hand Kate Wilkinson says National is open to ideas. In practice, however, National is telling New Zealanders, ‘don’t muck with us, we’ll do exactly what we want without consultation”.

“There is no reason this legislation should not go to a select committee. No government should be able to strip away fundamental rights from its most vulnerable people without its legislation being subject to proper and detailed consideration.”


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