Employment law amendments introduced to Parliament today will help rebalance the workplace so businesses can adapt more quickly to changing conditions, says David Lowe, Employment Services Manager for the Employers & Manufacturers Association.
“Market and business conditions can change rapidly and it’s important kiwi firms can keep up, to preserve jobs and their business,” Mr Lowe said.
“The current law means change in unionized workplaces can be held up and that can be detrimental in the longer-term to employees and the business.
“Unions and employers who can already make changes as they need to will find these law changes don’t affect them.
“But where the parties fail to reach agreement the changes offer a way through, without threatening the business’s viability or jobs.
“Not all employees want a union to determine their livelihood when they start a job. So a proposed change will allow them a choice about whether they should join a union and take on union negotiated conditions, or decide to negotiate their own employment terms and conditions.
“This change will add to the flexibility needed in the modern workplace.
“We have long said groups of employees should have a choice to bargain collectively with or without a union. On this the Government is maintaining the status quo requiring all collective bargaining to be through a registered trade union.
“The changes recognising the special law for cleaners and catering staff involved with contractors (‘vulnerable’ workers) is difficult and complicated so we welcome its repeal for small businesses.
“Keeping it in place for bigger businesses is a mistake as it is inequitable to give one business a commercial advantage over another just because they employ fewer than 20 employees.”