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National Provides Employers with an Early Gift

Alliance Party Media Release:

National Provides Employers with an Early Christmas Gift

For Immediate Release - 9 December 2008

Alliance Industry spokesperson and Party President Paul Piesse said the decision by the Government to reintroduce and pass the 90 Day Probationary Bill before Christmas, was an early Christmas gift to employers and right wing employer groups such as Business New Zealand.

Mr Piesse noted that the previous legislation was thrown out by the last parliament after numerous public submissions against the proposed Bill. However, this has not stopped the Government from going ahead and reintroducing it under urgency which allows the reading process to be quickly skipped through and no public submissions.

“It shows a real undemocratic bend to the new government’s agenda and demonstrates absolutely that it is in thrall to groups like Business New Zealand.”

Mr Piesse said that as a former Union official, he knew that a probationary period already existed in employment law. However, presently before people were sacked they had the chance to defend and themselves and seek representation.

“The new law does away with this and instead allows small employers the ability to fire new employees within 90 Days for the smallest indiscretions with no chance of legal redress.”

Mr Piesse said that such actions and legalisation flew in the face of the laws of natural justice, which allowed people the right to a defence. However, no defence was permissible for a new employee under this new ruling.

“Simply, the new law is truly fascistic. It denies people the right of redress and representation and allows the employer to be the final arbitrator. This is unfair and a denial of democratic rights.”

Mr Piesse noted that in the previous parliament the Maori Party has voted against the Bill. However, it was now part of the Government. He questioned the Maori Party’s involvement in this new Government and it relationship with these types of legislation.

“People like Hone Harawira should ask themselves if this is where they want to be. Is this the type of Government and type of policy that they want to support?”

If I were Hone, I’d be feeling pretty uncomfortable at the moment, Mr Piesse said.

The Alliance has committed itself to fighting the proposed reintroduction of the 90 Day Probationary Period for new employees by the incoming National/Act/ Maori Party Government. Mr Piesse called on the CTU and the Labour Party to mount public campaigns against the legislation.


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