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A journal for the ruling class

Written By: - Date published: 12:36 pm, December 4th, 2008 - 74 comments
Categories: Media, workers' rights - Tags: , , ,

The Herald continues its campaigning today with a puff piece about a poll that claims business wants National’s 90 day ‘fire at will‘ policy enacted as soon as possible.

The policy would remove the right of any worker in a small business to appeal against unfair dismissal during their first 90 days in a new job. But apparently the Herald didn’t think workers – you know, us, the people whose rights are being taken away – were worth talking to.

Instead, they quoted National’s employment spokesperson Kate Wilkinson – “It certainly reinforces the need for a commonsense policy like this” – and Ben Ridler, the managing director of something called the ‘Results Group’ – “It only takes a couple of bad hires to kill a small business, so this flexibility is urgent.”

The Herald acts like it’s a journal for the ruling class, then they wonder why people aren’t buying their newspapers.

74 comments on “A journal for the ruling class ”

  1. gingercrush 1

    The people spoke they voted in a National-led government. In regards to the article there simply wasn’t the need for opinions from workers. You can sure bet that as the legislation is put in motion etc etc you will get union and worker views in hundreds of articles. Unless of course you go by the analogy that the New Zealand is so bias they are doing all the bidding for National.Which just makes you sound silly.

    To be honest the Unions have an influence in this country but they hardly represent the majority of workers. And certainly many don’t support the union views. Many small towns have little in common with unions or even Labour views and those people aren’t rich. They’re still workers but they think differently to the Urbanites.

  2. Justthefacts 2

    National have a mandate for this excellent policy, get over it.

  3. Tane 3

    It’s not just this article, it’s a general pattern I’ve noticed and it’s particularly bad in the op-ed pages.

    Also, winning an election in an essentially two-party representative democracy doesn’t give you a “mandate” to ram through any policy you like without discussion or debate. Claiming as much makes you look like you’re unable to handle scrutiny or criticism.

  4. infused 4

    “Also, winning an election in an essentially two-party representative democracy doesn’t give you a “mandate’ to ram through any policy you like without discussion or debate”

    Could have fooled me Tane. Labour did exactly that.

  5. Tane 5

    infused, I think you’ll find there was a lot of discussion and debate around Labour’s policies in their last term. And I didn’t see Labour supporters saying “we have a mandate, the people have spoken, stop complaining”. Politics doesn’t start and finish with elections, y’know.

  6. roger nome 6

    Look Tane – you’re acting like you think you’re a “citizen” in a “democracy” or something. Just accept that the word of “business” is final, and their interests are the same as ours. The Herald gets it, why can’t the authors at the standard?

  7. Roger, is that Slater in your avatar? It’s too small to see…

    Perhaps this pic would be better? 😀


  8. roger nome 8

    ohhh – now that’s hot – who do you reckon picks up more (girls, not pies)? Slater or Farrar?

  9. I’d go with Farrar on account of not being a creep

  10. ieuan 10

    From the Herald article:

    “It certainly reinforces the need for a commonsense policy like this that does give confidence to businesses to employ people, but also gives opportunities to employees to get their foot in the employment door.”

    Yep have to agree, pity you union boys can’t see this.

    By the way the ‘Results Group’ are business mentors who charge heaps for business coaching.

  11. roger nome 11

    Granted, slater is the bigger creep, and farrar has toned down the “T and A” aspect of his blog lately, but they’re both still pretty creepy.

    (edit) Farrar’s two-tone shirt in that photo is fucking abysmal.

  12. djp 12

    eh.. whats creepy is people who air their obsessions for all to recoil from

    CAPTCHA: Needless Sack… aw come on, who doesnt have good use for a sack now and then?

  13. Tane 13

    ieuan, I’ve heard all the arguments before, they just don’t make sense. Jobs exist because there is work that needs to be done, not because it’s easy to fire and exploit people. Your argument is based on ideology, not evidence.

  14. roger nome 14


    Actually i think they’re both extremely boring people (they live their lives through a computer screen after all). They do have a certain “car crash” quality about them though.

  15. Mike 15

    These allegations of National Party bias leveled at the Herald are absurd.
    They have taken a bipartisan view on most issues, giving equal and fair treatment to both National and Act.

  16. QoT 16

    Darn straight, this is the kind of policy we need to help employees get their feet in the door. Every three months.

  17. vto 17

    I’ve never understood why it is supposedly acceptable for an employee to just up and leave the employer in the lurch at the drop of a hat, but not vice versa.

    Same with the landlord tenant relationship.

    Methinks some balancing is required. Not necessarily completely equal (esp. re tenants) but the pendulum has required some reverse swing. As the election proved and provided for…

  18. vto 18

    Tane, your point re a journal for the ruling class could equally be applied to Nat Radio during the labour years. Heavily so.

  19. Does this mean the Herald is planning to rotate its staff every 90 days?

  20. infused 20

    Can’t wait for this. I will finally hire someone. Having hired someone originally, recommenced to me, good references, strong skills, total shit after a month.

    Capticha: pruyn staff


  21. Uroskin 21

    “Does this mean the Herald is planning to rotate its staff every 90 days?”

    I thought they already did, not rotating, just sacking and moving journo and subbing jobs to Australia

  22. Uroskin 22

    I thought they already did, or rather sack a lot of staff and move jobs to Australia.

  23. I pity the poor prick that has to work for you infused. If you behave anything like you do here when you’re managing I’m not surprised you have problems…

    But I guess that’s what this 90-day thing is about – giving useless pricks who don’t have the personal skills to manage staff the ability to compensate at the expense of workers…

  24. vto. The business elite is the ruling class whether labour is in power or not.

  25. jagilby 25

    So lets get this straight…

    You’d have employers employ someone who after 60 odd days proved to be completely ineffective in thier position and then be at their mercy for forever and a day?

    Let’s assume that an employer has 8 employees and makes 2 such hires – you’re saying you’d rather place the entire business in jeopardy (including the jobs of the 8 initial staff who are well suited to their job) in order to have 2 people employed who proved out of their depth? Those 2 hires could place enough inefficency pressures on the business to send it down the gurgler but you’re cool with that as long as they aren’t on “probation”.

    No one is going to spend time going through the cost and risk of recuiting a new staff member every 90 days either – that’s just dumb. 1. It doesn’t instill any confidence in your workforce and 2. It will cost you more than any conceivable benefit.

    The simple fact of the matter is if you can do your job then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. If anything it gives people, who may otherwise have seemed too risky initially, a chance to prove themselves.

    I’m sorry but your logic truely defies belief.

  26. Tane 26

    You’d have employers employ someone who after 60 odd days proved to be completely ineffective in thier position and then be at their mercy for forever and a day?

    See, this is the problem. People calling for this policy don’t even understand the bloody law as it stands. You can remove a non-performing staff member, you just need to follow a fair process and allow them right to appeal. It’s not very hard and good managers don’t have a problem.

    If you can’t handle – let alone understand – basic employment law you shouldn’t be managing staff, simple as that.

  27. vto 27

    ah yes SP so it is, silly me. Anyway, similar point.

    interesting to see the same sorts of arguments and complaints from the opposition and the same sorts of claims and defences from the victorious as existed prior to the election. it’s like the chess board has simply been turned around for the next game..

  28. vto 28

    true tane true. But there are a couple of problems in that. One, employees who take advantage and effectively extort a payment off a false claim (direct considerable experience a few years ago proved to me this is quite common). Two, not everyone who needs to employ someone is such an employee manager. People always have different skill sets and if, by what you say, you mean that every smaller business owner and employer in the country should have such skills or not be in business then I think that is a little misguided.

  29. Fuckin A. Tane – it’s like Roger Kerr says – the greatest freedom in the free market is the freedom to fail. If you can’t manage staff or employ someone who can then you have no business in business. It’s like if you can’t manage to pay your taxes, invest in plant and machinery or make good choices about investing you fail. If you can’t manage staff you fail. Why should the law be changed to facilitate a bunch of crap employers. Let them fail like the whiny failures they are.

  30. tracey 30

    I’d accept some of the justifications from the business community IF when times were good they increased wages to ALLl workers. They dont, they do it when labour legislates a minimum wage increase. 8 times national opposed it.

  31. tracey 31


    Kerr also told Max Bradford competition would make for competitive and lower electricity prices. How right did he turn out to be? I mean someone made a shitload, but WE didnt get cheaper electricity.

  32. vto 32

    robinsod from your comment you would appear to have no epxerience in business. and applying your own thesis to commentary it gets a 0/10.

  33. gingercrush 33

    Well Tane the 90 day bill does exactly that. It means you don’t have to go through some stupid process to let go of staff. Saves paperwork, saves mucking around and means you don’t have to worry about appeals etc. It means you don’t go employing someone and then it turns out they weren’t as they seemed. In current law that involves a set way of doing things. This legislation will make the process easier.

    Its hardly a problem. You’re just ideologically opposed because you likely have some huge conspiracy about businesses and the ruling elite like others on the left have. If someone is good at their job the vast majority will keep that worker. Its even good for employees because many will be given a chance that they may not have gotten before. Its a trial. It will be abused by some. But those people already abuse the current employment laws. For the vast vast majority of employees and employers it will be good and work well.

  34. tracey 34

    I agree that most intelligent employers will not want to keep going through a recuitment process over and over again. They will only use the 90-day clause as necessary. There will be exceptions, there always are, most of us pay our taxes a few pay lawyers and accountants to get them out of paying taxes…

  35. Tane 35


    One, employees who take advantage and effectively extort a payment off a false claim (direct considerable experience a few years ago proved to me this is quite common).

    Anecdotes aren’t reliable. The Department of Labour has actually done proper research and found the personal grievance gravy train is a myth.

    Two, not everyone who needs to employ someone is such an employee manager.

    Nor is everyone who runs a business an accountant either, but the IRD doesn’t let you get away with not paying your taxes. Why should the standard be any different when it comes to the livelihoods of your staff?


    It means you don’t have to go through some stupid process to let go of staff. Saves paperwork, saves mucking around and means you don’t have to worry about appeals etc

    That “stupid process” you’re talking about is the right to natural justice. It’s a basic human right. So is the right to appeal. If it means you have to do some more “paperwork” then so be it.

    You’re just ideologically opposed because you likely have some huge conspiracy about businesses and the ruling elite

    No, I’m opposed because I see on a regular basis people exploited and mistreated by their employers. It doesn’t happen to everyone and I’m not labelling all employers, but there are enough out there who will abuse this law and the human consequences aren’t pretty.

  36. Strathen 36

    Tane’s description of the process is accurate as long as you don’t take in to account the Employment Tribunal. They’re so bias toward the employee it’s not funny. There is no such thing as employee incompetence in their books, only employer incompetence.

    I’m a worker and embrace this legislation. What’s not to embrace? I can go in to a new job, prove myself, and then not have to pick up the pieces of inadequate employees around me. Why should they get paid the same as me when I do 3 times the work? Oh, that’s right, there’s no such thing as a fair process in the Employment Tribunals eyes and therefore they can’t be performance managed out. So if I want to keep my job, I have to do theirs as well. Awesome…

    Recently an employee was fired after 3 warnings for blatant theft. Tribunal ruled that the employee should keep their job and be paid compensation. Awesome…

    Employee’s know the system doesn’t work and are abusing it. We had an fellow worker leave for a better job 5 months ago. One of our other workers told her to put in for a PG. She did. Not only did she get head hunted from our organisation for a better higher paying job, she also got 10k for leaving from the employment tribunal. Awesome…

    If I was a business owner, I would want this legislation to protect my business and my families life/future. Jagilby provided a great example that seems to be becoming more prevalent in my eyes. I see it has been ignored.

  37. vto 37

    Tane, I will have to disagree a bit re the ‘research’. As for your IRD analogy – you make a partial point of course – business owners are required to comply with an incredible array of things they are not experts in. But following your analogy, do you recall the bad old days of the IRD where people got heinously slapped down and even bankrupted for the most minor and accidental indiscretion? IRD has realised that was inappropriate and unfair and changed its ways. What I am suggesting is that similar pendulum swinging should be going on with the employment relationship.

  38. Strathen 38

    Tane – ‘No, I’m opposed because I see on a regular basis people exploited and mistreated by their employers. It doesn’t happen to everyone and I’m not labelling all employers, but there are enough out there who will abuse this law and the human consequences aren’t pretty.’

    I’m for because I see exactly the thing from the other side. I see on a regular basis people exploited and mistreated by their employees. It doesn’t happen to everyone and I’m not labelling all employees, but there are enough out there who have abused the current law and the human consequences haven’t been pretty.

    I’d like to hear your examples. Mine are all from the last few months. I have heaps up my sleeve if you want to go back a few years even…

  39. Tane 39

    vto, we have one of the most neoliberal employment environments in the world. The myth that NZ employers are mired in red tape is precisely that, a myth. If there’s a pendulum, it’s been stuck firmly to the right for the last 17 years.

  40. infused 40

    Robinsod, you really are an idiot. It’s easy to see from your comments you have no experience at all in small business.

    Wait till you’re taken on a ride to the employment tribunal over something stupid and taken for 50k. There is no point fighting it once it gets there.

  41. Tane 41

    Strathen, I’m not interested in comparing scenarios with you, particularly on a public forum. I’m sure you can imagine for yourself how the power imbalance in the employment relationship can be abused, and the human implications this might have on individuals and their families.

  42. Rex Widerstrom 42

    infused suggests:

    “Also, winning an election in an essentially two-party representative democracy doesn’t give you a “mandate’ to ram through any policy you like without discussion or debate’

    Could have fooled me Tane. Labour did exactly that.

    Arrrrrggghh!! I happen to think that under Labour NZ was being run in a manner which, by NZ standards (i.e. not those of Zimbabwe) amounted to a level of totalitarianism not seen since the worst days of Muldoon. There was an appalling level of arrogance and unwillingness to listen amongst the top echelons of Labour (and a few MPs who held them to ransom like Bradford and Peters). Far too much decision-making was going on in small cliques (centred on Heather Simpson) and change was simply rammed through on the numbers after sham “consultation”.

    Enough NZers felt the same to give them a well-deserved kick in the arse just a few weeks ago, hoping (naively perhaps) that we could expect better from an incoming government – particularly one that had spent so long in the wilderness.

    And now you want National to say “we won, you lost, eat that”?!

    Way to campaign for the return of Labour after just one term, infused. Two wrongs definitely do not make a right. National has been handed a chance by an electorate which, in many cases, voted for them without any real belief they’d do things differently but with hope that they would.

    Disappoint those people now and not only will National suffer, but so will democracy, which relies on the people having some faith in their governments.

  43. jagilby 43

    You know Tane if “workers” are so hard done by then there is always the option for them to set up their own businesses… apparently New Zealand is second easiest country to do business in according to the world bank.

    Why consign yourself to being a worker if it’s so tough and being an employer is obviously so easy in our neoliberal employment environment?

    [Tane: You fundamentally misunderstand the nature of a modern capitalist economy.]

  44. roger nome 44

    VTO, infused, of course Tane is right. Employers have absolutely nothing to whine about here. We have one of the most employer-friendly employment relations regimes in the developed world.


  45. roger nome 46


    “There was an appalling level of arrogance and unwillingness to listen amongst the top echelons of Labour”

    That’s called parliamentary democracy mate. National was the same, if not worse in the 1990s,.The below is from my thesis.

    “Conceived and ratified within a closed system, without consultation of any extra-governmental groups, the Employment Contracts Act was an elitist piece of legislation that lacked popular mandate. Of those responding to a survey carried out on the eve of the passing of the legislation 46 percent opposed the Act, 29 percent supported it and 24 percent were unsure (Cregan, C. et al., 1996: 761).”

  46. infused 47

    What’s your point Robinsod?

    So they should have to cough up money. You think because we lean to the right we want to screw the employee as much as possible?

  47. Tane 48

    I think his point is under National’s law those women could be fired for being pregnant. All the employer would have to do is say “it’s a performance-related issue” and there’d be no way to challenge it. Is that the kind of country you want to live in?

  48. Rex Widerstrom 49

    roger nome:

    That’s exactly my point. I don’t see a Bolger or a Shipley (ie. someone whose ego over-reaches their intelligence) on National’s current front bench, so there’s still hope… but if the party’s supporters keep urging it to take a bully boy “Cullenesque” approach to consultation then Key and Co will be consigned to the same scrapheap as Clark & Co – and for the same reasons, which have little to do with actual policy and everything to do with attitude.

    And this policy is a prime example of one where genuine consultation would almost certainly result in better law. Both “sides” have a lot of anecdotal evidence, as is emerging here. And, as someone once said, the plural of anecdote is data 😀

    Bring both sides to the table and really listen, identify the genuine problems faced by both, then produce a law that attempts to mitigate as many of those problems as possible. That is how a parliamentary democracy can and should work (and was imperfectly designed to do) but the people we elect to run it won’t allow it to work.

  49. Bill 50

    Bearing in mind that recession come depression racing down on us: with the 90 day bill, not only is the door open for an employer to unjustifiably dismiss an employee with impunity for issues not related to performance …(didn’t like his/her attitude, honest, there was a personality clash brewing between them and Tom, Dick, Jo or Harry, I didn’t like the cut of their hair etc, etc etc), but the poor bastard will be held by WINZ to have contributed to their own dismissal and subjected to max stand down periods.

    As for dismissal being challenged on grounds of discrimination. Discrimnation is very narrowly defined and the Human Rights Commision is a far lenghtier, costlier avenue.

    I’m tempted to suggest ( being idealistic here) that workers (unions) retaliate by dismissing/ disregarding the ERA in it’s entirety and have the bosses fight on our terms. Ahh… the merry hell that could eventuate!

  50. ghostwhowalks 51

    Just out of interest the actual audited net circulation of he Herald is 187,000 for 2008.
    Cant be long before it hits 150,000

  51. Phil 52

    There’s a well researched “lemon” phenomenon in Economics, usually centred on the used car market. In summary;

    I’m looking at a particular car to buy, it might be a great car, or it might be shite (a ‘lemon’). As a buyer, I have less information about the car than the seller. In the end, the balance of risk falls more heavily on the potential buyer, and you get market failure.

    It’s not a great leap of logic to see the parallel to the employment market. As a ‘buyer’ of labour, I will always be at an information disadvantage to the ‘seller’.

  52. George Darroch 53

    It’s not a great leap of logic to see the parallel to the employment market. As a ‘buyer’ of labour, I will always be at an information disadvantage to the ‘seller’.

    So you do your research. Check the references, see that they’ve got qualifications and experience that match the job. And if after all of that, they can’t perform to the specifications of the job, and have been given a chance to improve, then you can go through a process to dismiss them (which isn’t particularly hard or difficult, it just has to be followed properly).

    I remember in the 1990s when employers could fire at will for virtually any reason. Someone I know was fired for talking to a visitor, and then to add to injury had a compulsory stand down period of 6 weeks before they could get an unemployment benefit or any state assistance. It was pretty ugly, and pretty painful. This law lurches us in that direction, and I don’t think it’s what ordinary workers want. But reading the Herald, we’ll never find out, because they don’t see fit to ask them.

  53. bobo 54

    They seem to give away the herald free most weeks, has become a circular in my letterbox..

  54. deemac 55

    running a business is not supposed to be easy
    as my old boss used to say, “if it was easy, everyone would do it”
    and if you are a manager, you have to be prepared to take responsibility, not pass the buck

  55. Jared 56

    As a Unionist sympathiser Tane it would make sense that you don’t understand the semantics of running a business day to day. Hiring a new employee is an incredibly costly experience and can run cost between 1.5 and 2.5% of the employee’s salary to replace them, and upwards of 5x the salary of an Executive position. If you assume that in a capitalist era a business is working simply to bottom line profits, then going through the recruitment process, hiring, training, and then firing them over a minor issue is unlikely. You are assuming that an employer will not think about the cost to their business in lost down time in completing the recruitment process and training again and loss of productivity when the new employee starts, thus it is in the best interests for both parties to come to a mutual understanding and work issues out. However, if this is not possible, firing an employee is an extremely protracted and costly experience, not one taken lightly. If anything, just like Labour’s deposit insurance scheme, in a weakening economy this will provide an extra layer of stability in the job market allowing employers to take a risk and hire someone they may not normally hire, and give someone the opportunity they may not have already had. Employment Law for employers is a legal minefield and anything that can improve this is going along way to making life easier for both employers and employees

  56. Chris G 57

    jagilby, and the words of wisdom for the day:

    “You know Tane if “workers’ are so hard done by then there is always the option for them to set up their own businesses apparently New Zealand is second easiest country to do business in according to the world bank.”

    Thats right folks. We can all own a business, jagilby informs us so.

    ….dumbass. how the hell would that work?

  57. Chris G 58

    In relation to the bill,

    I seem to be jumping fence hourly on this. As a member of the NDU I know they will be opposing it, well my delegate informs me so, so theres one reason for me to oppose it.

    I also see it as a bill to be abused. eg. – Irate managers on a bad day picking on some poor kid whos done something wrong, but isolated.
    – The ‘Stephen Franks’ employers… when they find out someones gay, What will the odds be that person keeps that job? And all other associated discriminations.

    On the other hand: Ive seen some Piss poor workers in my time, and like the earlier comment someone said, I’m sick of picking up the extra work they dont do. So like the righties here the bill COULD solve that.

    But is there a better solution?

    Maybe the piss poor workers I’ve seen have been slackers because:
    -They are on minimum wage.
    – Working in a big big business theres a feeling of isolation, no part of a ‘team’. Managers dont particularly care and dont pay much attention to workers.
    – Very little dedication shown to workers by employers.

    = Little incentive to work harder.

    Maybe, the workers are slackers because the managers arent doing their job very well! After all they are supposed to be managing things, including staff, put it this way if you are a good manager who treats workers well, why the fuck would they slack off? Thats just common sense.

    The bill basically gives these shit managers a mandate to be dictator-like pricks, not good managers.

    Okay that was basically a stream of consciousness, its late, I just did an 11 hour shift, Im not gonna spell check or read over it. Punchline is that last line though.

  58. Kerry 59

    typical disgraceful ideas from a disgraceful party!

    National is sticking to what its always done…screw the everyday man!

    Anyone who agrees with the “fire at will”idea is simply ignorant!

  59. Kerry 60

    Whats next I wonder…..will employees have to bring a lump of coal to work to keep the fires burning?? Supplying own pens??? Own Toilet paper????

    Perhaps they should outlaw paying wages….just chain them to he work area and supply nappies so they dont wast time by going to the dunny!

    Each time i see people agreeing with that sort of National right wing crap it only make me realise how screwed up the world it!

  60. Ari 61

    On the other hand: Ive seen some Piss poor workers in my time, and like the earlier comment someone said, I’m sick of picking up the extra work they dont do. So like the righties here the bill COULD solve that.

    I don’t see why anyone would be afraid to fire a worker who was obviously not doing a good job. The protections for workers are mostly around being wrongfully dismissed, ie. where there is no performance-based reason. It should be relatively easy to prove if there is a performance-based reason, even in a small workplace that keeps less detailed records.

    I don’t see how allowing employers to wrongfully dismiss their workers within the first 90 days helps anyone, and were we not headed for a period with high unemployment anyway, it might have made it quite hard to find workers for certain jobs.

  61. Tigger 62

    I run a small business. I think this policy is flawed for both the employee and the employer – and ramming it through (this legislation will be woefully drafted and full of holes) is going to cause huge financial costs for businesses down the line (imagine all those wrongful dismissal suits that will be brought).

    Oh well, good news for lawyers anyway…

  62. Mr Magoo 63

    This law is exploitative of workers, plain and simple. Obviously managers and business owners like it, because it benefits them and gives them more power over their workers. They would always like laws that do this.

    All that rubbish about employers “being fair” is just crap. Yes, most employers are fair. No, they are not ALL fair. What is also crap is that you cannot get rid of bad employees.
    (You can’t treat them like crap and then sack them because you had a bad day or were hung over, yes. )

    What is worse is that it is inexperienced small business owners that can be the worst offenders. Large organisations have HR departments and experienced managers. Small businesses can have tin pot dictators.
    I have hired and managed staff, run a small business AND been a union rep in my career and I can quite honestly say I have “seen it all”. Both sides.
    I am as pissed off with lazy or exploitative employees as employers. (moreso with the employees in fact because they as used as annecdotes to harm other good people)

    However, here are the scenarios that WILL occur and why this is a bad idea:

    Speculative hiring (aka employees as unkowing venture capatalists):
    – Hiring staff before you are 50-80% sure you will need them. Many small companies are (or are like) startups. In this scenario you could take on staff before you actually are sure you can keep them on. (seen this one myself in current situation)

    Over hiring (aka survivor island):
    – hire 8 new people in the knowledge you only need 5 and keep the best.

    Short term hiring (aka cheaper than contractors)
    – Temps and contractors are paid extra (supposedly) for their temporary nature. (seen this one myself in current situation)

    Idiocy (aka idiocy)
    – You should not have been hiring. (seen this one myself in current situation)

    Believe me, I have seen and heard FAR WORSE than this. I don’t believe for a second that these will not happen. Also not that I have seen most of these scenarios in the CURRENT environment where it was not as profitable. (usually due to idiocy, but now it will be good business strategy in many cases)

    Also note that these situations can be spun/organised so that they are NOT detrimental to the company.

    I can elaborate on the examples I have seen in the current environment, but I am not sure that it is necessary or that most people will not have seen it themselves.

  63. vto 64

    yes well it is no wonder that businesses are never keen to employ people isn’t it when you read a lot of the business-hating garbage above.

    imagine for a second what the situation would be like if the settings were such that it was made as easy as possible, and perhaps even enjoyable, to be an employer.

  64. vto, wanting to be treated fairly and reasonably by your employer isnt ‘business-hating’.

  65. vto 66

    yes yes I realise that. Hopefully you get my point tho. I have never understood why, when employing people has such significant community-wide benefits, it is not made as easy as possible to employ people. Because it is not – most employers only employ reluctantly. It shouldn’t be like that. Imagine if businesses were actually keen to employ people and went out of their way to find new jobs within the business because of the bonuses which arise from employment. A whole new paradigm thingy..

    (obviously not at employees expense tho ay)

  66. Kelsey 67

    vto: It’s quite simple. Socialists and other assorted lefties do not understand that wealth can be created. They only understand wealth redistribution. THey don’t understand how their policies make everyone poorer. Those that do, don’t care – they would rather everyone be equal and poor, than have a disparity but more total wealth.

  67. Chris S 68

    Kesley, I’m trying to find the parallel between “creating wealth” and “eliminating an employees right to question a wrongful dismissal”. Would you mind helping me out?

  68. Kelsey: It’s quite simple. Fascists and other assorted righties do not understand that everyone deserves a fair go. They only understand making money no matter the consequences. THey don’t understand how their policies make everyone poorer. Those that do, don’t care – they would rather everyone shut up and took it than have equality for all.

  69. Strathen 70

    There are some valid points for both sides that I have read throughout this thread. Particularly enjoyed Mr Magoo and Chris G’s posts.

    I feel that there needs to be rules put in place for this legislation to go through. Most of the rules can be based on these very comments. Robinsod provided great evidence of legislation working in practice ‘Righties: How ’bout this: http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominionpost/4781380a6479.html‘. The appropriate rules should be in place to protect employees against the bad few employers.

    A couple off the top of my head:

    If stood down during the 90 day period, you are reinstated to the dole immediately. I.e. the week after your last paycheck. – This should encourage people on the dole to go for work knowing they won’t be without an income if it doesn’t work out. It should add to an employees sense of security.

    When dismissing an employee within the 90 day period, a form should be completed and a copy given to the employee as well as sent to the relevant department. This form should have the company number and respective decision making managers name on it, as well as other relevant information regarding reason for termination of employment. A simple search of the database can be automatically performed to find companies that have dismissed x number of employees within the 90 days period over a certain amount of time. These will be flagged for further investigation with appropriate measures to prosecute offending employers, and compensation to be paid to the employees caught effected by these employers. (aimed to protect against employers who seek to abuse the system of just hiring casual staff for low skilled jobs)

    The form should another form to follow it for the employer to complete that they then went out and rehired another employee. (aimed to prevent the ‘hire 8, keep the best 5’, ‘ and ‘speculative hiring’)

    The forms should also pick up business owners that are hiring through idiocy and the managers that are incompetent. The industry I am in sells to SME’s. I’ve seen very dumb employers and it’s a lot more common than we’d like to think. The most common, and it’s reasonably common, are the people that open retail stores, spend the money as it comes in to the till on themselves, then 3-6 months later when bills start having to be paid, wonder where their cash is to pay them. 3 months after that, they’re out of business. This process could pick some of these up and advice can be given on companies to contact for business advice.

    I like the fact that this is for organisations with 20 or less people in them. I agree that larger companies have experienced HR departments and the onus lies with them to sort out. However there will need to be some rules developed whereby companies that are franchises can’t slip under the radar. (like the Subway example someone gave earlier)

    There are probably many more points. Hopefully a consultation process can be followed to protect against these. Transparency of the process would be good, but if there was transparency, would we choose to follow it?

  70. Chris G 71

    An interesting post Strathen.

    I do like your rules.. automatic dole and database thing is a great idea. Would you expect the database of employers to be publicly available or just to someone like Department of Labour?

    My only concern is that:

    “Hopefully a consultation process can be followed to protect against these. Transparency of the process would be good”

    I cant see a heck of a lot of consulation going on if the 90 day bill is part of Keys “100 Day Plan” – is it?

    Plus the fact that you mention 2 forms to fill out (Sounds fine to me)…. but how would it sound to the Minister of Regulatory Reform, Rodney ‘Razor’ Hide?

    I like the rules you propose, I just cant help but think the likelihood of any such rules to be placed with the bill are very slim. If the nats are smart they will try and make the bill appeal to workers, but I think they’ll naturally just make it appeal to their mates the employers.

  71. millsy 72

    The company I work for does a lot of work around the country for several large firms, and due to the nature of the work, a lot of workers are left to work unsupervised with company cars, items, etc. Naturally, this requires a large amount of trust and responsibility for a lot of workers, not to mention the fact that it is 110% essential for our workers to ‘get it right’ first time.

    However, due to modern technology, we monitor our workers out in the field extensively, and if anything ‘doesnt look right’ it is very quickly dealt with. (we even hire workers full time to do the monitoring).

    My company has had no trouble dismissing workers who consistently mis-perform, or who display flagrant disregard for company rules and procedures, who are dishonest.

    We have a robust dissmissal procedure, with clear rules about serious misconduct in our contracts, and while there are hoops to jump through (like a hearing), when it is put in motion, the worker is pretty much gone by lunchtime.

    In short, as long as there is clear rules about what warrants a sacking, etc, there is no need for this law.

    All this does is promote a throwaway culture where workers are nothing more than warm bodies to be replaced at will, and that the lowest common demoninator becomes hiring a worker solely because you can get rid of them in 90 days if ‘it doesnt work out’. And if all employers think their workers are just going to be lazy ungreatful slackers who will steal anything that is not nailed down, then our business community needs to take a long look at itself in the mirror.

    This proposed law is going to hit the people who work in the retail and hospitality the most, the young, single working mothers, the unskilled etc and so on. A lot of them are already treated worse than sweatshop workers in China, and this will make the situation much much more harsh for them. Given that it doesnt take much training to wait tables or operate a till, the whole ‘invest a lot of time and training’ line doesnt wash. A single mother who waitresses, for example, can be sacked merely because she had to pick her sick child up from school, and she can have no comeback, if it is in the 90-day trial period. Down the road, with out any redress. Is this what people want? Its not what I want. Thats why we have such laws, to make sure people are protected from dismissal because the boss doesnt like their tie colour.

    I dont see how eroding workers protections and wages and conditions to sweatshop level is going to help anyone. If anything, it will just create more disloyal staff.

  72. Im glad others have taken note of the blatent pro National bias of NZ Herald .This
    week our subsciption ran out and for the first time after 40,years of subs my wife and I have had enough of their Right-Wing propogander. We have also had enough
    of the incredible hate and lies against Helen Clark from columists Fran O’Sullivan and the near mad ravings of Garth George. Columns from the far right BRT. and the Maxim group now dominate the Herald . Shattering its claim to be independent.
    In future my wife and I will read the Standard . Why should we pay an exorbinant
    subsciption ( its just gone up 10c) to have ulcers , To quote another Right Wing group “enough is Enough.

  73. Mr Magoo 74

    Hey there Pinkpostman,

    Good on you for actually taking a stand with action instead of empty rhetoric. Apparently the last time the herald showed its right bias it had to retreat because of just such action. Good on you!

    In fact you have inspired me. Even though I only read it online, it still contributes to their revenue and rankings. I am going to remove it from my bookmarks now.
    If they want to rebrand themselves as a right wing rag, then so be it. I don’t read them.

    It ain’t much, but its a start.

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