Hide says Repeal 6A

October 8th, 2012 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

writes in NBR:

You win the contract to clean the local hospital. You succeed because you are good at your job and have a good crew.

The previous contractor was slack and expensive. The hospital gives him one month’s notice. It’s a good result for you. And a good result for the hospital.

But then Part 6A of the Employment Relations Act kicks in. Part 6A enables the existing cleaners to transfer your business. The purpose of this provision is to protect “vulnerable workers”.

Part 6A defines the vulnerable workers by the work they do and where they do it. Essentially, it covers industries such as cleaning and food and laundry services. The real protection is to existing contractors.

Indeed, the previous contractor told the hospital it was no use dropping him in your favour because Part 6A means nothing much would change. It would be the same crew on the same wages and conditions doing the same job. 

Part 6A locks in existing workers and sloppy work practice. It doesn’t protect “vulnerable workers”.

It protects slack businesses and poorly trained and managed workers. It’s anti-competitive. It drives up the cost of cleaning and laundry services including for government, which is the major country’s buyer. 

I regard it as horrific that a winning contractor has to keep on the staff of the losing contractor, and the same terms and conditions. It destroys their ability to be more innovative and flexible.

National rightly slammed the Labour government for introducing Part 6A in 2006. But National in government has done nothing.

There has been a required statutory review of Part 6A in 2009. But then nothing. The minister is still sitting on the result.

The evidence is clear. Part 6A can’t be amended. It should be repealed.

I agree. No employer should be forced to employ staff from a competitor. It also destorys any incentive for staff to perform well for their employer, if they know that even if their employer loses the contract they are guaranteed jobs with the next employer.

Tags: ,

20 Responses to “Hide says Repeal 6A”

  1. dime (10,098 comments) says:

    insanity

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. berend (1,715 comments) says:

    DPF: National rightly slammed the Labour government for introducing Part 6A in 2006. But National in government has done nothing.

    Sums up National. Doing nothing. Keeping Labour policies.

    Vote John Key, get Helen Clark.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. lastmanstanding (1,300 comments) says:

    Example 2487 of the dum arse laws we have in NZ. Written and past by pollies who have no real world experience and so we get totally predictable outcomes of chaos.
    Alas the law is riddled which such insane legislation made by idiots who are paid by we the taxpayer.

    Sadly there are very few in our Parliament who display any real common sense and are in touch with reality. It seems upon entering the House any common sense are of their brain is switched off.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. andretti (130 comments) says:

    If it looks like a duck ,sounds like a duck it is a duck.This is plain old Corruption no other word for it.

    berend.
    you are right on the money,john Key has no balls at all,way too scared to stop all these rediculous policies and regulations in case some pressure group complains.Sometimes we should vote for the greens so they can get in and fuck this country for the three years they are in,then we will be rid of socialism for a long time.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Manolo (14,032 comments) says:

    National rightly slammed the Labour government for introducing Part 6A in 2006. But National in government has done nothing.

    National is a party of weaklings and unprincipled appeasers, so it’s no surprise Labour lite was unwilling to change what its socialist predecessor did. The same can be said about WFF, ETS, etc.

    The current versions of the two political parties are almost identical: both left-of-centre organisations.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. flipper (4,197 comments) says:

    DPF…

    You must be aware of the campaign that the ORCA has been waging on this – lampooning Wilkinson as a buddy of Helen “snake” Kelly – has been brilliant.

    The worst part is that scrapping this Section 6a is OFFICIAL National Party policy – adopted unanimoiusly, as I understand it.

    Time for JK/WE/SJ and Greg Hamilton to kick ass at the ‘hive.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. David Garrett (7,524 comments) says:

    This is just another example of the Nats not having the cojones to change what they said they would before actually gaining power. Much worse than s.6A IMO is the failure to reinstate youth rates.

    Thousands of school leavers are condemned to “earning” about $4 an hour on the dole because employers are obliged to pay a 16 year old school leaver with no skills the minimum wage. So they sit at home – or wander the streets – rapidly becoming unemployable and destined to a life on a benefit.

    Quite apart from providing a constituency of beneficiaries who think Labour loves them, it is appalling on so many levels.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Viking2 (11,561 comments) says:

    Minister of labour. oh that’s right the useless Wilkinson.

    Geckos being taken from NZ by people who enter regularly. Need a sentence of minimum 1 year to stop them forever returning and its been on the desk for 4 years. Wilkinson again i beleive.

    key should have a bloody good shake up in Wgtn. Too many useless people in cabinet

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Nostalgia-NZ (5,276 comments) says:

    Well that’s one side of the story.
    From Hide’s perspective, he hasn’t dealt with how a new contractor might be successful in gaining the contract, how long a contract lasts etc. It might be claimed that it is protecting slack workers and slack bosses, and while it also might be protecting good workers and good bosses it isn’t clear to me how a new contract is ‘won.’ Most times new contracts are ‘won’ on the basis of good practice, a suitable record showing the contractor’s ability to perform the job and price. The last often being the clincher. I don’t know the act but I imagine it must have looked to preventing ‘cut throating’ prices by fly by nighter contractors.
    It isn’t clear to me how the present situation benefits workers or contractors, also it isn’t clear to me how it doesn’t benefit them either.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Monty (980 comments) says:

    It is worse. when cleaning company A know they are going to lose a contract. They go an place their even shitier employeees at that site(s) so that the opposition have then the issue of even worse cleaners. I have had some experience of this happening.

    This was a sop to the unions by the likes of Fenton. It has been an unmitigated disaster for everyone concerned.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Manolo (14,032 comments) says:

    Time for JK/WE/SJ .. to kick ass at the ‘hive.

    Keep waiting. They will not do it. Key is paralised by fear and terrified of falling from favour in the polls.

    Labour lite will continue meandering without any sense of direction. The party’s principles were abandoned two decades ago. It’s a matter of policy on the hoof and how to please the voters to keep us in office.

    Yes, that is today’s shameless National Party.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    Motivated, high-performing cleaners are hard to find.

    But I don’t think 6A is solely to blame for this ;-)

    But I agree the basic principle of this law appears just flat-out wrong.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. mpledger (425 comments) says:

    Without 6A, where there is a large or highly specialised workforce then there is a huge risk to the contract maker when going with a new contractor because the calibre of the new workforce can’t be judged, the contractor maker can’t even tell if the new contractor can even get a workforce.

    Look what happened when the Australians came in with new lab services – the workers didn’t want to change companies, the Australian lab had to import workers from overseas and they botched things up for months. It was so bad the old contractor had to fill in.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. peterwn (3,301 comments) says:

    This is part of the wider concern of ‘triangular employment relationships’. In the hospitals case the Health Board, the Service Company and the Service Company’s employees are at the three points of the triangle. It is also part of the ongoing tension between an employee’s desire for regular employment, ‘fair’ wages and conditions, and security on the one hand and an employer’s ultimate desire of ‘employment at will’. So effectively ‘triangular employment relationships’ have a tendency to ‘white ant’ employment legislation. Back to the hospital situation – administrators, doctors and nurses generally have job security and reasonable conditions. The anciliary staff, but for 6A, do not. They are in no position to try and bypass the contracting company and seek direct employment. The hospital management prefers using a contracting company for the anciliary work (eg cleaning, catering, laundry, etc) because it is relieved of day to day management (similarly with boarding schools and university hostels). There is another ‘triangular’ relationship in the health area – lab services – which are contracted to Health Boards. Their pathologists, technicians, and phlebotomists (the person who sticks the needle in and hopefully finds the vein) do not have 6A protection but then if the contract changes they have far less to fear than hospital anciliary staff.

    Prior to Rogernomics, anciliary staff were protected by direct employment and fairly strong unions. Bot Rogernomics changed the playing field.

    So this is essentially why 6A was enacted by Labour and also explains National’s reluctance to repeal it. So Rodney should come clean and just say that he is advocating ‘employment at will’ by employers.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Vulnerable Business (1 comment) says:

    Part 6A is a dog with flea’s and is terminally ill, all that is required is for the government to acknowledge and accept the expert advice they have received and euthanase the legislation in its entirety! Only then will organisations of NZ have their freedoms of association restored so they can have service providers they want on their premises rather than protected SFWU members. If the legislation is so bloody good then lets extend it to all industries rather than the few that the SFWU represent, that way when the next election is held it wont matter what the people of NZ vote or want the same incompetent existing ministers will simply elect to transfer to the new government on the same terms and conditions! Gosh why bother with an election at all, this could save us taxpayers millions. hmm maybe that’s why Kate Wilkinson likes Part 6A so much, say no more “the Vulnerable Minister”

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Yoza (1,906 comments) says:

    David Garrett (2,619) Says:
    October 8th, 2012 at 12:29 pm “Thousands of school leavers are condemned to “earning” about $4 an hour on the dole…”

    Whoa, …that works out to $672 a week! Where do I sign up?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    mpledger, you’re confusing a case where an employer who lost a contract where the work was done by skilled employees deliberatly and systematically undermined the new contractor in order to try and reverse the effect of them losing the contract.

    That has absolutly nothing whatsoever to do with this.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. DJP6-25 (1,389 comments) says:

    It looks like 6A is another of the manifold blessings of Socialisim.

    cheers

    David Prosser

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. bringbackdemocracy (428 comments) says:

    Red Labour or Blue Labour the policies are the same.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. OneTrack (3,218 comments) says:

    Yoza – Dont give up the day job.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote