Businesses are right to be concerned about Government proposals to wind back the clock on industrial relations, strengthening union powers and pitting employers against employees, National’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Scott Simpson says.

“These planned reforms would mean fewer jobs for New Zealanders and less competitive businesses – it is no wonder that businesses are speaking out against it.

“Already we’ve seen more strike action in the first nine months of this Government than in nine years under National, and with the union-friendly reforms the Government is proposing we can be sure there will be more on the way.

“Ending the starting out wage, removing 90 day trials for businesses with more than 20 staff, consecutive unsustainable leaps in the minimum wage, reducing flexibility, and 70s style standardised wages bargaining will all increase risks and costs for small and medium-sized businesses.

“We all benefit when businesses have the confidence to grow, employ more staff and lift wages. This Government’s policies are doing the exact opposite – poor business confidence means employers’ hiring intentions under this Government are the lowest since the Global Financial Crisis.

“We have excellent employment regulations that have seen 10,000 jobs created every month for the last two years. The Government’s changes will put that at risk. They’ll hurt Kiwi families, with unions being the only winner.

“I’m pleased that businesses are taking a stand and encouraging people to speak out against the changes, and I encourage everyone who is interested in a more productive economy that supports both employers and workers to do so.”

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