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‘Ask the Genie’ campaign questions Government

Humorous ‘Ask the Genie’ coffee mugs sent to Members of Parliament and journalists raise serious questions about the Government’s true intentions behind MBIE’s ‘Better Protections for Contractors’ public consultation.

“It’s a classic example of a Government looking for a problem where there is none,” said Grant McLauchlan, Managing Director of CrestClean – the company openly behind a campaign to raise awareness of MBIEs call for submissions.

“This initiative is not about protecting some faceless courier drivers or Uber drivers, its impact across the economy and on many sectors is likely to be significant. Think about real estate agents, taxi drivers and many other service industries, like construction, finance and cleaning.

“The Minister believes there are about 70,000 contractors dependent on one company, but the big question about whether there is actually a problem seems to be conveniently side-lined,” said Mr McLauchlan, adding “The facts show there isn’t a problem.”

MBIE consultation document asks ‘How big is the problem of misclassifying employees as contractors’ but doesn’t tell the full story.

“MBIE’s own figures show there were just 17 out of 1,628 Employment Relations Authority determinations and one Employment Court decision where workers were found to be employees not contractors – in other words, just 1% of cases,” said Mr McLauchlan.

Further to this, MBIE’s Survey of Working Life* states that 9 out of 10 contractors said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their job, and the same proportion said they would prefer to continue being self-employed than to work in a paid job for someone else.

CrestClean is one of New Zealand’s leading commercial cleaning companies, with a high percentage of successful and compliant self-employed contractors working with the company and is concerned about the significant impact on its business from efforts to reclassify contractors to employees.

Mr McLauchlan said CrestClean wanted to raise awareness about the Government’s discussion paper as the company believes the proposed new contracting rules will force tens of thousands of compliant contractors to become ‘employees’ of the entities that they contract to.

“When the Government is already preparing legislation to introduce protections for businesses against unfair commercial practices which would enhance contractors’ ability to challenge one-sided contracts, why is the Minister potentially creating more workplace confusion with more legislative changes?” asks Mr McLauchlan.

© Scoop Media

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