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Employment Reforms Remove Barriers To Job Growth

Employment Law Reforms Remove Barriers To Job Growth

ACT Leader Rodney Hide welcomes the employment law changes announced by the Prime Minister John Key at the National Party Conference in Auckland today. Mr Key acknowledged the ACT Party’s role in developing and finalising the reform package.

Mr Hide noted that he was particularly pleased to see that the Government has agreed to the extension of the 90 day trial period for workers. This currently only applies to firms of up to 20 staff, but after its proven success it will now apply to all firms.

“This is a tremendously important step to boost job creation and give young and less-skilled workers a chance to step up and show what they can contribute. It is a move that ACT was particularly keen to see implemented. It also brings NZ more into line with with practice in other OECD countries.

The OECD Economic Survey of New Zealand (2005) advised that NZ should bring in trial periods in order to mitigate ‘the potentially damaging effects of increases in employment protection on the job prospects of marginal groups of workers.’

Mr Hide particularly welcomes the Government’s moves to make the Employment Relations Authority act in a judicial manner – reducing uncertainty for employers and employees alike.

The new policy also includes a statutory right for parties to cross-examine each other and their witnesses (including through representatives), and allows parties to bypass mediation and go straight to the Authority in situations where mediation would be impractical or inappropriate.

“These steps are a move in the right direction to free up the labour market, giving more options to more people and removing barriers to job growth. This will encourage further improvements in productivity that are the basis of higher incomes, and thus better lifestyles for all,” Mr Hide said.


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