INDEPENDENT NEWS

Holidays Act Changes A “Lose-Lose Move” - EPMU

Published: Mon 21 Dec 2009 11:09 AM
Holidays Act Changes A “Lose-Lose Move” - EPMU
Proposed changes to the Holidays Act threaten workers’ holidays and will leave many businesses without fall-back options if they strike financial difficulties says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.
Over the last year the union has negotiated several job-rescue packages with employers, including 9-day fortnight arrangements, which have only been able to be struck due to workers having significant accrued leave – a situation that the new changes will undermine.
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says changes that reduce leave entitlements are a lose-lose move.
“Clearly the new recommendations will harm workers by reducing their leave entitlements but they will also cause long-term problems for Kiwi businesses by reducing their ability to navigate downturns while retaining productive, skilled, workers.
“We also have serious concerns about the fact safeguards around the sale of leave have been considerably watered down from original recommendations including the fact the minister is willing to allow such a sale to be negotiated at the point of hiring, which is pretty much the most vulnerable period in a worker’s employment.
“Despite the government’s claims it wants to close the wage-gap with Australia every change they have made to employment law has put Aussie standards of living further from reach and this move to reduce leave entitlements is just another knock backwards for working Kiwis.”
The EPMU represents 45.000 working New Zealanders in 11 industries.
ENDS

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