National’s Employment Relations Policy

October 28th, 2011 at 9:20 am by David Farrar

I suspect we will hear from a lot of unions today. Amazingly not a single union commented on Labour’s superannuation policy yesterday, despite their decades of opposition to compulsory superannuation and raising the age of eligibility.

But has just released their employment relations policy, and I think the unions will rediscover their voices. The policy takes a number of good steps in the right direction, and is in total contrast to Labour’s desire to return to the 1970s.

First of all there is a partial victory on the issue of the for teenagers, which has resulted in such massively high youth unemployment.

There will be a “Starting-Out Wage” set at 80% of the adult minimum wage. At present the current law has this also, but it only applies for the first 200 hours of employment, which can be as little as five weeks. National is extending this to:

  1. 16 and 17 year olds for their first six months with an employer
  2. 18 and 19 year olds if they have been on a benefit for more than six months prior, for their first six months of employment
  3. 16 to 19 year olds doing at least 40 credits of industry training a year (was 60)

This doesn’t go as far as I would go, which would be to simply not have the minimum wage law apply to those aged under 18 (rather than under 16), but it should give young job seekers a better opportunity to get their first job, and gain that all important experience.

National is also making it easier for employees to request flexible working arrangements:

Many workplaces already have flexible working arrangements, either formally or informally. But at the moment, the formal request mechanism applies only to those with caring responsibilities.

National will extend the right to request flexible working hours to all workers, and raise the profile of flexible working arrangements. We want to see more workers and employers benefiting from flexible working arrangements.

And also they wind back some compulsory lite unionism:

Remove the requirement that non-union members are employed under a collective agreement for their first 30-days.

The current law effectively forces you to join the union, and means you can only withdraw and go on an individual contract after 30 days. National allows an employee to decide for themselves from day one whether or not they wish to join a union.

Apply partial pay reductions for partial strikes or situations of low-level industrial action.

Currently, employees can engage in partial strike action, such as refusing to answer email or do any paper work, while continuing to receive full pay.

Partial pay for partial work.

I am really pleased to see some movement on the issue of pay rates for teenagers with no work experience who need a first job. Our youth unemployment rate is far too high.

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21 Responses to “National’s Employment Relations Policy”

  1. backster (2,174 comments) says:

    Each of the changes have merit ,but each is too timid and unlikely to be greatly effective. For instance with the Youth Rate proposition it would be better if at the 16 year old start it was at say 70% and had six monthly or annual increments reflecting advances in experience and productivity until the adult minimum was reached.

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  2. La Grand Fromage (145 comments) says:

    Irish Bill, that felching union no-mark at the Standard, is squealing like a little girl over this.

    After crying wolf on the 90 days policy the Unions don’t have any credibility left. Not that they had any to start with

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  3. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    As you say, a step in the right direction.

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  4. marcw (249 comments) says:

    As you say, this is a partial victory in the right direction, but I too would rather have seen a decision to eliminate all minimum wage rates for under 18 year olds. I question also point 2, “18 and 19 year olds if they have been on a benefit for more than six months prior, for their first six months of employment”. This would seem to be administratively clumsy. So when you apply for a job, you are now required to disclose your unemployment details? If you have only been unemployed for say 4 weeks, then you are automatically at a “disadvantage” for selection because you are actively looking for a new job? (In the potential employer’s financial sense).
    I would be interested in the reason for this bit of the policy.

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  5. Mighty_Kites (84 comments) says:

    Wow, bringing back a policy that failed to reduce youth unemployment at all in the 1990s, how bold of National

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  6. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    Wow Mighty Kites – 15 posts of Labour propaganda and counting. You need to look at the output of some of your fellow stooges – you are falling way behind.

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  7. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Shit this will bring the feral out of the commies, can’t wait. About time, it’s a pity it is only 3 years to late and as weak as Chinese tea. Screw the minimum wage, the minimum wage actually does the opposite of what it sets out to do, it holds people back and gives employers an excuse to pay to the lowest common denominator.

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  8. somewhatthoughtful (465 comments) says:

    Genius, instead of youth having no jobs, now they’re going to have lots and lots as they get fired every 6 months!

    Great policy national!

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  9. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Yep, great policy. Now, just point me to the bit about closing the wages gap with Aus. Oh, like the John Key Memorial Cycleway, its a non event.

    Where’s the bit about growing the cake, about lifting wages across the board? Oh no, can’t have that, can we? Business paying the true cost of labour inputs, no let’s leave the subsidies in place so bigger bonuses go to the top boys.

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  10. Grendel (1,002 comments) says:

    Explain how they will legally be fired every 6 months in a way that will not result in the employer forking out huge sums in wrongful dismissal suits? or are you just another full of shit whiny labour supporter (but i repeat myself), who has no idea what they are talking about as usual?

    Most of these could be replaced by the govt getting out of the way.

    there is no need for the govt to decree wages, that is between the employee and employer
    there is no need for the govt to decide the ability to negotiate flexible working conditions, that is between the employee and employer
    there should never have been any ability for the unions to muscle in and force you to join them for any length of time. the govt should have butted out ages ago. so this is a good fix, but an insult to have ever had it exist.
    the govt should not need to make it clear that not doing your entire job can have you lose pay, but for the sake of the idiot unionists its good its in black and white.

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  11. James Stephenson (2,186 comments) says:

    I would be interested in the reason for this bit of the policy.

    Seems pretty obvious to me. Give potential employers an incentive to take a chance on someone who is long(er) term unemployed.

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  12. Grendel (1,002 comments) says:

    here come the rest of the usual flunkies, my name is moron is here.

    how does govt lift wages moron? they do not create anything.

    what subsidies are you bleating about? No business i have been involved in gets subsidies. you must be confusing the real world with your govt sector job that gives you heaps of time to spout gibberish on KB.

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  13. James Stephenson (2,186 comments) says:

    Explain how they will legally be fired every 6 months in a way that will not result in the employer forking out huge sums in wrongful dismissal suits?

    Never mind the costs of repeatedly hiring and training new people…this argument was wheeled out against the 90-day trial period legislation and it’s *still* utter bollocks.

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  14. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    The vast majority of employers just do not behave in the way that the Left thinks. It simply would not be in an employers interest to fire people every six months. Virtually any job you care to name takes time to learn. Thats an investment of time and money on the employers part.

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  15. peterwn (3,274 comments) says:

    For those who think it does not go far enough – the trick is to make change while at the same time keeping the target as small as possible.

    As for the claim an employer would fire after 6 months, it is important that any such abusive behaviour on the employers’ part is jumped on, especially if an employer issues a foul reference to ‘justify’ termination (as happened to a nephew of mine in the 1990’s). However this possibility should not be taken as a reason for not having such a policy.

    Interestingly how much objection would be from those directly affected, compared with those from unionists and left wingers.

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  16. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    For those who think it does not go far enough – the trick is to make change while at the same time keeping the target as small as possible.

    Sadly true, which is why I give National for credit than some others here, because I understand they have to win elections.

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  17. somewhatthoughtful (465 comments) says:

    These jobs are all casual that they’re targeting normally (supermarkets and what not), who needs to fire someone when you can just stop giving them work?

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  18. Viking2 (11,484 comments) says:

    Those young people should be turned into National voters and the way to have done that was allow them to get jobs.
    Why would this new move encourage then to be National voters??
    Gutless behavior and its taken 3 Looong years and an election bribe to get this far.

    And that’s all this is, an election bribe, a piss poor one at that and no doubt if they do get reelected they will have a change of heart or take another 3 years to implement it. Especially if they have the Green wanks as a coalition partner. No wonder key did this. Slippery is the word.
    Wankers

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  19. Nookin (3,352 comments) says:

    somewhatthoughtful
    I followed the link to your web-site and saw that heading — “Sometimes my stupidity amazes me”. Having seen your comments on this thread you can be assured that you are not in an axclusive club. Your stupidity amazes everyone else as well.

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  20. dime (9,977 comments) says:

    Willie Jackson doesnt sound happy lmao

    Its good policy, it will go through.

    It will result in more jobs but the ideologues of the left will say “the whole economy got better worldwide. nothing national did had any effect blah blah blah”

    Hopefully they can wheel out some 16 yr old trash bag who lives alone and is “just getting by”. you know, the norm. They will then tell us hes better off not working etc etc

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  21. somewhatthoughtful (465 comments) says:

    Nookin, sorry it’s not my website. It used to be, then I took that blog down, then someone else claimed it back. Sorry. Every time I try to change my profile here it doesn’t seem to stick so I’ve given up, bloody wordpress devilspawn (yes I work as a web developer).

    Also, I suggest you read up on the english language, you’re grasp of it is decidedly sub-par.

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