Employment changes not good for flexibility, productivity

30 Mar 2018

BusinessNZ says proposed changes to employment law should be carefully scrutinised to ensure the strengths of the current employment relations framework are not lost.

Submissions on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill closed today and the legislation will now be analysed by the Education & Workplace select committee.

BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope says the Bill requires more work to achieve a balance between the rights and needs of employees and employers.

“The Bill’s intention of protecting employees and their representatives is understood, however the Bill as written would impact negatively on workplace flexibility, productivity and competitiveness.

“Compulsion on employers to take part in collective bargaining and to reach agreement on a collective agreement regardless of bargaining terms would be unjust.

“Restricting the 90-day trial period to businesses with fewer than 20 employees would create unfairness between businesses of different sizes, while reducing the ability of untried workers to gain employment.

“Requiring all staff to get meal and rest breaks at statutory times would remove much flexibility from workplace operations.

“These are some of the rigid requirements that would reduce flexibility and productivity in New Zealand workplaces.  We would urge the select committee considering the Bill to analyse the proposed changes closely.”

BusinessNZ’s submission on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is available here