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Review opportunity to consider redundancy pay

1 December 2009
Media Statement

Minister’s review opportunity to consider redundancy pay

The Government should review minimum redundancy entitlements as part of its evaluation of provisions under the Employment Relations Act, Labour’s Associate labour spokesperson Darien Fenton said today.

“National’s review of Part 6A of the ACT is a good opportunity to investigate minimum redundancy entitlements,” Darien Fenton said.

“Labour implemented Part 6A because it was a crucial element in improving job security and protection in situations of contracting out, particularly for low paid, vulnerable workers.

“Those provisions must not be tampered with.

“It also provides for workers in specific industries who have been transferred to a new employer to bargain redundancy. In events where redundancy cannot be agreed, the Act allows the Employment Authority to determine minimum entitlements.

“However, Part 6A does not provide protection for those workers whose employment agreements expressly exclude redundancy pay. And there are no redundancy protections at all for other workers.

“The recession has seen thousands of workers laid off with little notice and no redundancy pay. The review of Part 6A is a great opportunity for wider discussion about redundancy entitlements for all workers.”

Ms Fenton says the review should look at whether New Zealand’s redundancy protection should catch up with other OECD countries that provide minimum notice and redundancy compensation.

“Kate Wilkinson has said that if there is a need for improvement she will be happy to look at suitable amendments,” Darien Fenton said.

“Labour will take a keen interest in the review and urges the Minister to consider the provisions of my redundancy protection bill as part of it.”

ENDS

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