Employment Reforms Bill approved
Wellington, November 24 Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson said the Employment Relations Amendment Bill (No 2) and the Holidays Amendment Bill passed by Parliament last night will provide New Zealanders with more opportunities and choice and boost business confidence.
“These two bills improve our employment law framework by promoting greater clarity where required and increasing flexibility and choice for both employers and employees,” she said.
“This Government is focused on creating jobs and providing the right conditions for economic growth. Ensuring that businesses have confidence in our employment framework and are not bogged down by compliance costs will increase investment in our economy and our communities,” she said.
“We want to see New Zealanders in work. We want them to be successful and we back them to make the right decisions for their families.”
Ms Wilkinson said a significant amount of work went into ensuring the reforms improved the employment law framework and the public was widely consulted.
“The extension of the 90 day trial period reflects our intention to provide New Zealanders with every opportunity to get a job. It has proved successful for small businesses and will prove successful for all employers.
“Other changes to the Employment Relations Act will enhance the personal grievance system, making it more effective and efficient,” she said.
Under the Holidays Act, a formula for calculating leave and holiday entitlements for those whose hours of work or pay vary has been introduced – called Average Daily Pay.
Employees will also be allowed to cash up a week of leave or transfer the observance of a public holiday to another day if they wish to.
“The Holidays Act has long proved difficult for employers to interpret and the changes made provide more certainty and will reduce compliance costs.
“It will also bring greater choice for employees. The opportunity to cash up a week of annual leave at the employees request has enormous public support and I know many are looking forward to utilising it,” Ms Wilkinson said.
Most of the changes will take effect on April 1, 2011.
Labour Ministry Press Release