INDEPENDENT NEWS

Labour Minister doesn't know her own bill

Published: Fri 7 Apr 2000 09:25 AM
The Minister of Labour has had the wool pulled over her eyes by the unions, Dr Lockwood Smith, Opposition Spokesperson on Commerce said today.
"She said in the House today that if someone wants 'to work as an independent contractor they are entitled to do so, as they are entitled to work as employees. All the Bill asks is that they clearly state their intentions in the contract'.
"She is quite wrong, as any competent employment lawyer would tell her. What she has described is the position under the current law.
"The Employment Relations Bill clearly overrides whatever's been agreed in the contract and will make a large number of independent contractors employees.
"The Employment Relations Bill explicitly amends the current arrangements so that anything in the contract is to be given less weight.
"The film and IT industries make widespread use of contracting relationships that will now come within the definition of employment relationships. No amount of fine words in contracts will override that.
"The creative industries in New Zealand are about to lose part of their competitive edge. "
Ends

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