CTU Media Statement
31 March 2011
Fairness at work goes tomorrow
Changes to employment laws which take effect from tomorrow will allow any new worker to be unfairly dismissed in the first 90 days of employment at a time when work is already tough for so many New Zealanders.
Tomorrow’s changes also include restrictions on workers that seek access to union advice.
Helen Kelly, CTU President said “these are tough times for workers facing a rise in the cost of living, loss of jobs and cuts in vital public services. On top of this the Government is now undermining fundamental rights at work.”
She said, “What could be more fundamental to job security than the right to appeal against unfair dismissal?”
Helen Kelly said that is one thing for the Government to be pro-business. But the National Government is losing all sense of balance and is now clearly anti-worker. Whether it is ACC, meal breaks, holidays, or dismissal rights, or, this Government attacks worker rights. The CTU is not opposed to trial periods. Nor do we oppose fair dismissal. But the Government should not remove the right of appeal against unfair dismissal. Since the Government brought in this law for small businesses unemployment has gone up and one in five workers employed under this law change were sacked with no right of appeal.
Helen Kelly said that unions would continue to support fairness at work, and would campaign for this at worksites and during the election campaign.
See fairness.org.nz for details.