| | |
Homepage | login or create an account

Human Rights Commission Hits Out At 90-Day Probation Bill

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Dec 11 NZPA - The Human Rights Commission (HRC) has hit out at the Government's decision to rush through legislation that would set up a 90-day probation period for new workers.

The Government has said it plans to pass the legislation, which gives bosses a 90-day grace period to dismiss new workers without being exposed to claims of unjustified dismissal, under urgency before Christmas.

That means the controversial bill will skip the select committee process, wiping out the public's chance to make submissions.

The decision has sparked an outcry from unions which say the change would strip about 100,000 workers at any one time of a basic employment right.

The HRC has also joined the criticism.

Equal Opportunities Commissioner Judy McGregor said the legislation was a "fundamental change to employment law which requires serious consideration".

Dropping consideration of the bill by a select committee, which could listen to submissions and suggest improvements, could lead to unintended consequences.

"There appears to be no compelling need given the current economic conditions to take short cuts in the political process or for such urgency on this proposed legislation."

Dr McGregor said the commission was concerned about the negative effect the legislation could have on school leavers and other vulnerable workers.

Prime Minister John Key has defended the Government's move to push it through under urgency, saying an earlier version of the bill was considered by a select committee in the previous Parliament.

The Government had considered submissions on that bill, which was eventually defeated, and made improvements to the new versions.

But the Maori Party yesterday said it would not support the bill as it believed it would still hurt workers.

Co-leader Pita Sharples said it was an area where his party would be disagreeing with National as allowed under their confidence and supply agreement.

He said there was no evidence the proposal provided any gains for new or marginalised employees.

The Maori Party's votes are not crucial to passing the legislation.

Debate on the bill is likely to begin today.

NZPA PAR gf kk

About : Politics

Find the latest politics and election news, 'how to' guides and party policies on Guide2Politics.


Your Questions. Independent Answers.