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Employment law changes will help the recovery

Media statement Sunday, July 16, 2010

Employment law changes will help the recovery

The employment law changes announced today by the Prime Minister are critical for helping businesses recover from the recession, says David Lowe, Employment Services Manager for the Employers and Manufacturers Association.

"They help rebalance our employment laws which currently discourage businesses from hiring people," Mr Lowe said.

"The present employment law is full of fish hooks and unnecessary complications.

"The complications of the Holidays Act require specialists to interpret it. They prevent responsible adults from reaching simple agreements such as whether they want four weeks holidays or three weeks holiday and one week's extra cash.

"Today's changes to the Holidays Act simplify the law so that most people will be able to understand it and get it right.

"The current personal grievance law is a lottery that can cost an employer $10,000 to defend successfully or an average of $33,000 if they are unsuccessful.

"The changes include measures to address the dodgy practices of "no win no fee" advocates who can demand thousands of dollars for meritless claims knowing they might cost an employer double the amount to defend, with no cost to the employee should they lose. It is unethical, and its right to bring in a code of good practice.

"Employers will be pleased they will be allowed to talk openly with their employees at all times. An incredible situation had developed that, at certain times, employers could only communicate with their staff through the union.

"In all, these changes will give employers the confidence to employ people and that must be good for everyone."

ends

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