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National is fighting to stop this Government dumping employment law that underpins New Zealand’s growth and allows flexible, modern workplaces that can compete in the fast-changing global economy, National Party Leader Simon Bridges says.

“The Government has shown complete contempt for businesses both large and small by ignoring all of their submissions on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill.

“Instead of helping business grow and create more jobs, the Government wants to take us backwards in a return to 1970s-style adversarial union activity that would ultimately hurt all New Zealanders.

“National believes New Zealand’s competitive advantages are worth fighting for and our employment law plays a big part. The Government’s ideologically driven changes add to business costs, hurt productivity, stifle innovation and do nothing to improve the position of workers.

“Today National has lodged Supplementary Order Papers on this Bill seeking improvements that help both employers and employees.”

National’s proposed changes will:

  • keep 90-day trials for all businesses
  • allow businesses to opt out of collective contracts and multi-employer collective agreements (MECAs)
  • ensure union officials have to get permission to enter a workplace
  • ensure businesses don’t have to pay union delegates for union tasks during paid hours.

“National has signalled its opposition to the Bill with a Minority Report but we must push much harder to stop this Government making one of its biggest economic mistakes. We can’t allow it to destabilise New Zealand’s industrial relations landscape.

“This is also an opportunity for NZ First to do what is right for New Zealand and support our efforts to stop these reckless changes. They know a good industrial relations framework and a flexible labour market are critical to a strong and growing economy, and are vital for the provinces.

“National cares about both employees and employers. This Bill does nothing to achieve that outcome and will have a negative impact on jobs, on costs and the economy. Our changes would address that.”

National SOPs

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