90-day fire at will law to be forced on public service

Published: Mon 10 Jan 2011 10:15 AM
10 January 2011
Media Statement
90-day fire at will law to be forced on public service
The news that government agencies will be required to implement the 90 day fire at will legislation in their contracts proves the hollowness and cynicism of Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson’s promise that the provision would only be included if workers agreed, says Labour’s State Services spokesperson Grant Robertson.
Grant Robertson said it made a mockery of the Government's claim that the inclusion of the provision is a choice for workers.
" Time and again Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson has stood up in Parliament and said that the fire at will clause will only be in employment contracts by mutual agreement, yet the Government is now going to be forcing the provision on its own workers," Grant Robertson said.
“I actually asked Ms Wilkinson in Parliament last year about the application of the law to the State Sector. She said that the law is ‘optional not compulsory’, and that it was up to the sector and groups to ask for a 90 day trial period if they want it. This is totally at odds with what the State Services Commission now says.
"The Commission has now directed state sector agencies not to contract out of or restrict any application of the 90 day law,” Grant Robertson said. “While the provision might be government policy, forcing it on public sector agencies and their employers is totally against the spirit of good employment law.
"The 90 day law gives employers the right to dismiss employees without justification and without any redress. It is demonstrably unfair and against natural justice.
“The hundreds of thousands of state sector employees, including teachers, nurses, other hospital staff and service providers, such as police and firefighters, must now be very wary of the Government's plan to implement this unfair law," Grant Robertson said.

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