It isn’t often Judges will make a submission to a Select Committee. You tend to listen when they do.
Now the Employment Court Judges are not generally known as being pro-employer. in fact many employers will pay out money, even if in the right, to avoid having to risk the Employment Court/
So when said Judges appear before Parliament to state that Labour’s proposed payoff to the Unions, sorry employment law changes make little sense and are unclear, one should take notice.
They comment “It is, to a legal mind, an enormous leap from the pursuit of self-interest to the commission or display of an attitude of bad faith.” This means if passed, employers could get fined just for doing what is in the best interests of the employer, even if not acting in bad faith.
The other nightmare section is where the bill would require Judges to substitute their opinion of what is fair and reasonable for an employer’s. There will be no certainity – just second guessing.
The clause says an employer “must have considered and balanced the legitimate interests of the employee and employer”, and as the Judges point out there is no objective definition of “legitimate interests”.
This bill will be a nightmare. Not only does it include all the provisions of the Employment Relations Act 2000 which Labour withdrew because of opposition, but several daft new provisions also.