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Report Fails To Uncover Real Story Of 90-Day Law

Department Of Labour Report Fails To Uncover Real Story Of 90-Day Fire-At-Will Law

A Department of Labour report commissioned to measure the impact of the 90-day trial employment law, fails to reflect the real consequences of the legislation on employees.

“Some 3,532 employers and 13 employees were contacted as part of this report. Such imbalanced methodology is not going to uncover any meaningful data on the impact of the 90-day employment probation period,” says The Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi (PSA) National Secretary Brenda Pilott.

“Workers’ voices have been shut out of this report. As a union, we’ve heard that voice and the stories it tells are shocking. People dismissed without cause during a 90-day trial period are suffering from sleepless nights, financial hardship and relationship breakups. These consequences impact whole families, not just individuals.

“If the government was interested in how this legislation impacted workers, the research would have surveyed an equivalent number of employees. Of the 13 workers who were interviewed, some were referred to the researchers by their employers and some were still on their trial probation period so they were hardly going to share any criticism they may have had of it.

“A strong legal framework already exists for employers to use against workers who are not pulling their weight.

“By asking the Department of Labour not to include an equitable number of employees in this research, National gleaned the result it was looking for to extend the 90-day trial period to all employers and implement a law that will affect everyone’s job security.

“We challenge the government to conduct a meaningful survey around this legislation.

“In the run up to the election National accused Labour of using the public service for its own ends and won support on a campaign to de-politicise the public service. Now it’s in power it’s doing what it promised it wouldn’t do.

“National is now going to use this skewed research to extend the 90-day probation law to all employers. Hundreds of thousands of workers look to change job each year and now they will all be put on probation because a public department has been used as a political pawn, says Brenda Pilott.

“Extending the 90-day fire at will law alongside restricting workplace access to union representatives; demanding a doctor’s letter after just one day off sick; exchanging holidays for pay; and weakening workers’ rights to personal grievance proceedings – all of this adds up to a cumulative erosion of workers’ rights and a rise in draconian employment laws that are a huge step backwards for our nation’s social progress,” says Brenda Pilott.


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