Workplace Law

The questions to each MP were:

1) Will you remove from the ERA the union monopoly on collective bargaining?

2) Will you remove from the ERA the presumption that employees are always at a bargaining disadvantage?

3) Will you change the ERA to allow for effective grievance-free probationary periods?

4) Will you change the Holidays Act to restore the ability of the parties to negotiate holiday payments

5) Will you restore choice to ACC legislation, so businesses are free to choose private accident cover if they wish?

6) Do you support the target of having 250,000 people in industry and trade training by 2007, and what changes, if any, would you make to funding arrangements to achieve this?

Answers are over the break:

Paul Swain, Labour replied:

1) No.
2) No.
3) No, if an 18 year old is harrassed by her employer she should have the ability to do so.
4) No, current Act is fair.
5) No – philosphical debate. Is a health issue, not a commodity issue.
6) This is a real issue and support but depends on when affordable.

General comments – critical issue is workplace productivity and no one priority for Labour is to lift it.

Wayne Mapp, National

1) Yes. Labour strengthened union monopolies and strikes are increasing. Employees deserve choice of representation.
2) Fundamental principle of equality under the law so yes.
3) NZ one of only two countries in OECD without a grievance-free period, so yes. But not mean no rights at all.
4) Will amend Act. Currently can earn more being sick than working.
5) Yes – will restore choice which had accidents and premiums both go down.
6) Yes – support goal

General comments – National wants NZ to catch up to Australia – needs lower taxes and less compliance costs.

Peter Brown, NZ First

1) NZ First feel strongly on this and opposes monopoly. Want end to divide between left and right by setting up a commission. Then waters down reply and say look at this issue.
2) Brown says all responses are maybes. Will look at all, also look at what unions want.
3) Again will look at this – is complicated. Can not give yes or no.
4) Real concern about holidays act. But support penal rates and four weeks leave.
5) Yes do not like monopolies. Would like private insurance to be more than ACC.
6) Think target is ambitious but support more training

General comments – wants fairness from employers and unions, a safe but flexible environment.

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