INDEPENDENT NEWS

Leased Executives: A Cost Of Bad Employment Law

Published: Tue 24 Jul 2001 04:34 PM
Rodney Hide's revelation of extensive "executive leasing" by the government should not be taken as a criticism for using leased executives said ACT's Commerce Spokesman Stephen Franks.
"It is a criticism of Government hypocrisy. Executive leasing is little different from using consultants. They spent so much time criticising the last government for that. But Government has to use consultants and executives because they can't afford to get caught by their own stupid employment law.
"Unsuitable senior staff can claim golden parachute payments when they go. When he became a Minister Trevor Mallard made much of his determination to end departure bonuses. But he has been curiously silent throughout the Rankin affair. His report two weeks ago on use of leased executives does not admit the truth.
"I predict that Christine Rankin will get a low six figure sum plus a portion of her costs from the Employment Court, because of the way in which the government refused to renew her fixed term contract. If Mr Mallard had stuck to his claimed principles and not been rolled by Attorney General Margaret Wilson and the Prime Minister on the ERA, New Zealand taxpayers would not have had to meet any of these costs
"The truth is that Margaret Wilson has now left the government with no choice to lease executives and use consultants, as a way around her absurd employment law. She insisted on reversal of the Court of Appeal's decision that fixed term contracts can mean what they say.
"But the new Employment Relations Act now makes even executive leasing dangerous. Subsection 6(3)(b) has been interpreted by the Employment Relations Authority. The JB Contractors case found that a man had to be an employee, under tests of deemed and integration even though it was clear the true intention of both parties was a relationship of contractor and subcontractor.
"We will keep highlighting these absurd wastes of taxpayer funds until we have a chance to reform the law," Stephen Franks said.
Ends

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