Part 6A restricted

October 30th, 2012 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Kate Wilkinson has announced:

Cabinet has agreed to further improvements to the Employment Relations Act 2000, including changes to Part 6A that deals with the cleaning, catering, orderly and laundry industries, Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson said today.

The objective of Part 6A is to provide continuity of employment for employees in specific industries when a business is restructured or sold.

“A review of Part 6A found that there were significant operational issues around transferring employees’ entitlements and information to the new employer,” Ms Wilkinson says.

“Proposed amendments will fix these issues and provide more certainty and clarity for employers while at the same time protecting key benefits for affected employees.

In addition, the review found that while larger businesses had been able to adapt better to the requirements of Part 6A, small and medium sized businesses faced greater proportional costs.

“For example, a husband and wife cleaning team who tender and win a small contract may be currently required to take on any staff doing the work under the previous contract owner.

“That’s why Cabinet has also agreed to exempt small and medium businesses – those with fewer than 20 employees – from the provisions of Part 6A where the SME is the incoming employer.”

Employees in small and medium enterprises account for approximately a quarter of those in affected industries.

I’ve always regarded Part 6A as anti-competitive nonsense. Forcing the company that wins to hire the staff of the company that loses. Doesn’t provide much incentive for staff to make sure their company keeps the contract – their jobs remain.

Restricting it to large contractors is a step in the right direction, and welcome. However personally I’d scrap 6A entirely.

There’s some other welcome changes too:

 A return to the original position in the Employment Relations Act where the duty of good faith does not require the parties to conclude a collective agreement.
• Empowering the Employment Relations Authority to declare in certain circumstances that collective bargaining has ended.
• Allowing employers to opt out of multi-employer bargaining.
• Allowing for partial pay reductions in cases of partial strike action.
• Removing the 30-day rule that forces non-union members to take union terms and conditions.
• Changes around the disclosure of personal information following Employment Court judgments involving Massey University.

Almost all of these were in the 2011 manifesto, so National is simply keeping its word. They are all pretty minor – but important none the less.

One other change:

The right to request flexible working arrangements will be extended to all workers, right from their first day on the job – currently only caregivers are eligible and only after six months of employment.

I think a lot of the future will be people working different and more flexible working hours, rather than the standard nine to five, five days a week. In some jobs too, a lot can now be done from home.

Tags:

9 Responses to “Part 6A restricted”

  1. kowtow (8,945 comments) says:

    I wish they’d grow a pair and fix the anti parental discipline act.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Manolo (14,183 comments) says:

    I wish they’d grow a pair and fix the anti parental discipline act.

    Not to worry. When National becomes opposition it will promise it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. SPC (5,678 comments) says:

    What restraint will there be on new contractors offering existing staff fewer paid hours to do the same amount of work? Would it be legal to accept, if the work could not be done in that amount of time – meaning that pay might fall below the minimum wage for the hours worked.

    Is there any means to independently determine the minimum number of hours required to do a job to ensure that minimum wage conditions are not breached?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. scrubone (3,097 comments) says:

    Call me cynical, but there’s a lot of policies that Labour put in place that do jack (or simply involve giving group X a big cheque like WFF), but sound so good it’s politically damaging to get rid of them.

    Or maybe National just like taking on unpopular small stuff and making a hash of it. Not sure on that one.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. publicwatchdog (3,162 comments) says:

    When it comes to the contracting-out of public services that were once provided ‘in-house’ at both central and local government level – how about a legislative requirement for a mandatory ‘cost-benefit’ analysis to ensure that such ‘contracting-out’ is a more ‘cost-effective’ use of public taxes and rates monies?

    If not – then surely this is simply ‘CORPORATE WELFARE’ – end of story?

    Where’s the National/ACT review of ‘CORPORATE WELFARE’?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Nookin (3,575 comments) says:

    Penny, instead of parroting about this so inanely, why don’t you read the Local Government Act 2002

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Tauhei Notts (1,688 comments) says:

    I am a little concerned about the scrapping of Part 6A.
    But if I was to put my concerns here in detail I would be labelled a racist.
    Part 6A is necessary because of our much vaunted diverse immigration policy.
    Enough said!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Elaycee (4,425 comments) says:

    Someone has clearly missed the point:

    Example: A company (ABC Limited) has a cleaning contract with Cleaning Company A. The staff of CCA are no longer wanted on site (poor performance) so when the contract is due to expire, ABC Limited tenders the service and it is won by Cleaning Company B. But CCB has to employ the staff that were used on site by CCA. And apparently, this provision still applies if CCA and CCB employ over 20 staff! This is totally daft as the main reason that a cleaning company is dropped is performance related and that means the issue is….. staff!

    And a realist would quickly note the opportunity for CCA (the ‘losing’ company) to unload all of its ‘poorer performing’ staff onto ABC Limited, before the handover to CCB. What a complete cock up.

    So the morale of the story is that the only way to avoid crap of this nature, is to employ a franchise based cleaning company who use contractors. Otherwise we are at risk of remaining tied up in knots.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. scrubone (3,097 comments) says:

    how about a legislative requirement for a mandatory ‘cost-benefit’ analysis to ensure that such ‘contracting-out’ is a more ‘cost-effective’ use of public taxes and rates monies?

    If not – then surely this is simply ‘CORPORATE WELFARE’ – end of story?

    Interesting that you jump to that rather than the odvious conclusion that the civl service manager responsible for making the decision being incompetent.

    Hard to argue that a compeditive tender is corporate welfare wayway.

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