Tens of thousands of workers have been sacked under the 90-day-trial period, with many let go because they “did not fit in”.
Figures published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show about 69,000 employers took on at least one new staff member in 2012 under the legislation.
That’s 59% of employers.
It is not known how many workers were dismissed during the 90-day-trial period, but the figures revealed 27 per cent of employers said they had fired at least one new employee during or at the end of their trial.
This means at least 18,000 people lost their jobs in the first three months of employment last year, with the actual figure likely to be much higher.
When asked why they had dismissed staff, most employers said it was because they were unreliable or had a bad attitude. Other reasons included employees not having the necessary skills, not getting on with colleagues, and not fitting in.
The law has been widely criticised by unions and the Labour Party, which says it will repeal it if it is elected next year.
If Labour don’t repeal it, the unions can vote in a new leader!
Until we gained the trial period law in 2009, we were I think the only country in the OECD that didn’t have a grievance free trial period.
In terms of dismissals during the period, 56% said it was because the employee was unreliable and had a bad attitude. 51% said it was because they did not have the skills to do the job.
But Hospitality New Zealand Wellington president Jeremy Smith praised the trial period, claiming it had been positive for both employers and employees.
Mr Smith, who owns several bars and hotels including The Old Bailey, St Johns and the Cambridge Hotel, said he had hired dozens of staff he would not otherwise have considered.
Because of the transient nature of hospitality, it was often difficult to check references so a trial period “levelled the playing field”.
“We’re in a position now where we’re a lot more comfortable giving people an opportunity.”
And this is backed up:
Labour Minister Simon Bridges believed the legislation was working well.
In 2012, more than 131,000 people were employed on a trial period and nearly a third of all employers who used the trial period said they would not have hired their most newest staff member without it, he said.