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The Employment Relations Amendment Bill will go down as one of this Government’s biggest economic mistakes and a future National-led Government will repeal the provisions, National’s Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Scott Simpson says.

“National opposes both the ideological basis of this Bill and the specific legislative changes contained in it that will destabilise the New Zealand industrial relations landscape. As a result, the Bill reported back to the House includes our dissenting view as a Minority Report.

“The cumulative impact of changes to workplace relations in this Bill will choke economic growth, further hurt business confidence, stifle job opportunities for vulnerable employees, return us to 1970s-style adversarial union activity and be bad for employees and employers.

“It seeks to grow Trade Union membership and influence, and reinforces the political, historic and financial relationships between the Union movement and the NZ Labour Party.

“BusinessNZ says the Bill is ‘harmful and oppressive’ with none of the provisions of most concern removed. With business confidence low, especially among small firms, BusinessNZ says it is unfortunate ‘the Government hasn’t listened or explained its justification for the Bill’.

“These changes are part of a cluster of half-baked Government policies and reviews that have driven up business risk and uncertainty,” National’s Scott Simpson says. “As former National Minister Steven Joyce notes, this Government ‘is currently rearranging, often negatively, not one or two but nearly every aspect of microeconomic policy’.

“A good industrial relations framework and a flexible labour market are critical to a strong and growing economy. This Bill does nothing to achieve that outcome and will have a negative impact on jobs, on costs and the economy.”

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