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Govt Wants Legal Minimum For Redundancy Compensation

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Labour would set a legal minimum for redundancy compensation and notice if it wins the election.

Labour Minister Trevor Mallard made the announcement at a union election forum today.

The Government would consult on options following recommendations from a Public Advisory Group on Restructuring and Redundancy -- which included unions and business groups -- which were made public today.

Another recommendation was to extend the security in change initiative aimed at helping redundant workers into new jobs and look at wider policies to stimulate the labour market.

The Labour Department would put together a discussion document for consultation by April.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Mallard said Labour would put minimums into law.

"We haven't established the level of it or the notice period that will be required, that's what we are going out to consultation on," he said.

In his speech to the forum Mr Mallard said there was no protection for workers who did not have redundancy requirements in their contracts.

"We actually have to decide where we are going as a country. Are we going to be like most like nations and protect the most vulnerable or take the National Party approach and attack the most vulnerable?"

National's Kate Wilkinson and ACT candidate David Garrett said their parties did not support the move. Ms Wilkinson said people could negotiate redundancy entitlements in their contracts.

The Greens and Progressive candidates on the panel supported the initiative while New Zealand First and United Future candidates said they supported the idea but had no policy on it yet.

The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union supported the policy and said it would help people through a difficult time.

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