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PSA says 90 day bill attack on all workers

December 9, 2008
For Immediate Use
Rushing 90 day bill through Parliament will make all workers anxious

“The PSA is dismayed that the government wants to increase job insecurity for workers during a recession by rushing its 90 day fire-at-will bill into law before Christmas,” says PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff.

“At a time when the whole country is wondering how deep the recession will get the government wants to add to that anxiety by making their jobs less secure,” says Richard Wagstaff.

“On the one hand, in the Speech from the Throne, the government talks of the need to guarantee financial security for families and jobs for young people, and on the other it wants to pass a bill that will undermine workers’ financial security and jobs,” says Richard Wagstaff.

If the bill becomes law around 108,000 workers employed at enterprises with fewer than 20 staff will lose the right to challenge an unfair dismissal during the first 90 days of a job. This applies to workers in the private and public sectors.

“These workers are in the direct firing line of this attack but this bill will make all workers
anxious,” says Richard Wagstaff.

“More than 700,000 workers start a new job every year. If their new job is at one of the 97 per cent of businesses with fewer than 20 employees their job security is threatened by this bill.”

“What about workers who lose their jobs as the recession bites? How anxious are they going to feel if they get a new job with a small employer in a different part of the country?”

“What if they’ve sold their house and moved their family to take up a new job with a small employer and are then fired in the first 90 days?

“This bill will lead all workers to think twice about the risk of moving their families to take a new job where they could be fired and not be able to challenge the dismissal.”

“The PSA opposes this bill because it’s bad for workers and bad for the economy because it will put a handbrake on people changing their jobs for legitimate career reasons.”

“The government should scrap the bill or re-think its plan to rush it into law before Christmas.”

“It needs to recognise the impact this bill will have on all workers and at the very least allow it to go to a select committee so these issues can be debated,” says Richard Wagstaff.


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