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Bill provides for redundancy notice and pay

24 May 2009 Media Statement

Fenton’s Bill provides for redundancy notice and pay

Associate Labour spokesperson Darien Fenton says that the increasing number of workers being dismissed without notice or redundancy compensation provides the motivation for her new members’ bill.

The bill --- Employment Relations (Statutory Minimum Redundancy Entitlements) Amendment Bill --- will provide minimum notice and compensation for redundancy, and is based on the recommendations of the Public Advisory Group on Restructuring and Redundancy which reported back in 2008.

“The report, which recommended introducing statutory minimum notice and redundancy compensation, has been on the desk of Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson since last November. I asked her weeks ago what action she was taking on it, and she replied that she was ‘considering’ it,” says Darien Fenton.

“That’s no comfort to the 60 workers at Bright Wood who last week were told their jobs will be lost with no redundancy compensation. And it’s no comfort to the many thousands of other workers facing the chop at the moment who don’t have the protection of redundancy and notice requirements in collective agreements.”

Darien Fenton estimates there are tens of thousands of workers who have no redundancy entitlements in their employment agreements.

“I would prefer to see urgent government action than have these workers rely on a members’ bill, but I have no confidence that the Minister will take the matter seriously,” Darien Fenton said.

The Labour Party is also considering whether New Zealand should adopt a similar scheme to Australia’s General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy

Scheme (GEERS), which provides a basic payment scheme for employees’ unpaid entitlements, such as redundancy pay, in situations of insolvency, where there are insufficient funds or assets available, and no other source of funds are available to pay these entitlements.

ENDS

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