Employment Law Changes a Work in Progress, says Business Central

Date Added: 28th November 2018 from


The Government’s proposed compromises to their employment law reforms in response to employer feedback is a welcome step in the right direction, says Business Central.

"Employers are pleased to see that the Government’s changes to the Employment Relations Amendment Bill acknowledge the serious impact the reform package would have had on businesses, particularly SMEs," says Chief Executive John Milford.

"However, those changes address only some of our concerns, and we expect the Government to consider further ways they can improve productivity and fairness for employers.

"The BusinessNZ family, comprising ourselves, EMA, Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Otago Southland Employers’ Association has campaigned vigorously over the harm the original legislation would do to New Zealand’s economy.

"We are pleased to see some of our ideas have been picked up - particularly the ability of employers to opt out of MECAs on reasonable groups, and restricting the conditions under which union representatives can enter work sites unannounced.

"I wish to acknowledge the consideration given by coalition partner NZ First to our concerns and their advocacy for these changes.

"Yet problems with the legislation remain.

"Restricting 90-day trial periods to just SMEs makes little sense, and a requirement for employers to reach agreement on bargaining demands for collective agreements will likely result in New Zealand breaching international law.

"Parliament still has the opportunity to further improve this bill. We urge all political parties to listen to the voices of the tens of thousands of New Zealand employers, exporters, and start-ups who are wanting a better balance between union rights and employer obligations."