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Business NZ threatens members will violate human rights over PPL

Written By: - Date published: 9:39 am, October 25th, 2012 - 19 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, human rights - Tags:

Here’s Business NZ’s shill on extending paid parental leave: “Employers who have been forced to bear considerable replacement costs, or to find those amongst their other employees willing to provide cover, may well think hard before again employing a woman of child-bearing age”. 1) that makes no sense 2) it’s illegal under the Human Rights Act.

1) extending the maximum period of paid parental leave doesn’t change the total period of parental leave that people are entitled to. It make mean that people on average take marginally more parental leave on average, but that’s very much at the margin – if you’re getting someone in to replace a woman for, say, 30 weeks on average now, what’s the difference if it becomes 35 weeks? Businesses don’t pay the paid period, the government does, so that’s no problem either.

2) The Human Rights Act says:

22 Employment

(1) Where an applicant for employment or an employee is qualified for work of any description, it shall be unlawful for an employer, or any person acting or purporting to act on behalf of an employer,—

  • (a) to refuse or omit to employ the applicant on work of that description which is available; or

  • (b) to offer or afford the applicant or the employee less favourable terms of employment, conditions of work, superannuation or other fringe benefits, and opportunities for training, promotion, and transfer than are made available to applicants or employees of the same or substantially similar capabilities employed in the same or substantially similar circumstances on work of that description; or

  • (c) to terminate the employment of the employee, or subject the employee to any detriment, in circumstances in which the employment of other employees employed on work of that description would not be terminated, or in which other employees employed on work of that description would not be subjected to such detriment; or

  • (d) to retire the employee, or to require or cause the employee to retire or resign,—

by reason of any of the prohibited grounds of discrimination.

21 Prohibited grounds of discrimination

(1) For the purposes of this Act, the prohibited grounds of discrimination are

  • (a) sex, which includes pregnancy and childbirth:
  • (i) age, which means,—
    • (i) for the purposes of sections 22 to 41 and section 70 and in relation to any different treatment based on age that occurs in the period beginning with 1 February 1994 and ending with the close of 31 January 1999, any age commencing with the age of 16 years and ending with the date on which persons of the age of the person whose age is in issue qualify for national superannuation under section 7 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001 (irrespective of whether or not the particular person qualifies for national superannuation at that age or any other age):

    • (ii) for the purposes of sections 22 to 41 and section 70 and in relation to any different treatment based on age that occurs on or after 1 February 1999, any age commencing with the age of 16 years:

So, the short of it is that the business classes’ peak group is threatening that its membership will violate workers’ human rights if paid parental leave is extended.

I’ll ask the same question I ask of the Police over Greg O’Connor, why do good bosses put up with being represented by these dinosaurs?

Meanwhile, Labour should be writing to the Human Rights Commission asking them to rule on whether Business New Zealand is threatening that its members will breach human rights.

19 comments on “Business NZ threatens members will violate human rights over PPL ”

  1. One Tāne Huna 1

    Simple way to fix this. Criminalise human rights blackmail. Amend the companies act to disqualify these criminals from becoming company directors.

    It’s time to get tough on crime.

    • Gosman 1.1

      I do like it when leftist go all authoritarian on issues. Shows the true nature of leftist politics.

      I do have one simple question for you though. How will the extra burden of proof required to get a conviction as a result of criminalising this behaviour make it less likely that such behaviour is carried out?

      All anyone needs to do to get off would be to argue that they much prefered the other, (non childbearing aged female), because they had a better attitude or seemed a better fit to the culture of the organisation. Getting evidence to the contrary would be a tad difficult I would suggest.

      • One Tāne Huna 1.1.1

        Cry baby. Human rights are non-negotiable.

        I was thinking we issue writs of prejudice and assumption, and put Muzza in charge of jury selection.

        Don’t worry, Gossie, I’m sure someone on the left will meet you half way and simply strengthen employment rights and conditions. The return to a forty hour week might take priority over persecuting right wing nitwits.

        • Gosman

          Human rights are very negotiable. This is evidenced by the fact that some people think that human rights should include such areas as a right to a job.

          I’m more than willing to negotiate on a level of human rights acceptable to the vast majority. I will not accept someone elses view of ‘human rights’ being imposed on society without discussion or acceptance by the vast majority.

          I am curious about this issue though. Imagine a scenario where the government of the day decided to require all businesses to allow White males between the ages of 20 to 40 to take six month semi-paid sabaticals at times of their choosing. Would it be discrimintory if Business owners decided that it might be easier and less costly if they employed some other group of people?

          • One Tāne Huna

            Well, while you swivel around on the head of a pin, I’ll be sharpening the piano wire.

            PS: Get your hands off my white male privilege!

      • lprent 1.1.2

        Getting evidence to the contrary would be a tad difficult I would suggest.

        Ah I rather suspect that you are vastly over-rating the base intelligence of such employers. After all if they are stupid enough to have an such an antique attitude towards skills, then what makes you think that they’d have ever thought of consequences in the first place?

        Most of the time you’ll find that they will do something moronic like state their attitudes loudly in a staff room in front of their largely already disgruntled employees.

        The intelligence of most managers in NZ should never ever be over-estimated from my long experience with them and as one (before I found programming).

        • Gosman

          It would on take one relatively high profile criminal conviction to change that. You would also engender a climate of fear in the workplace between employer and employee. I suspect many of you think this already exists in many places but it would be much worse.

          I was involved in some work experience back in the early 1990’s with a well known Wine brand. At the time I was there they were looking to employ a new sales person. One of the candidates was an excellent person who was well qualified except for the inconvenient fact they were the wrong sex. Essentially they were interested in attractive females. I suspect this sort of discrimination goes on a lot more than people realise and not just one way.

  2. Uturn 2

    Alas, Woman of Child-bearing Age, get thee to a nunnery!

    How thou doth entreat our funds with thy serpentine tongue and ripe loins. Would there be a method so sweet, that one may know without flaw, how ready a woman may be? Perchance, to check the vixen’s teeth, as so many ewes would? And what evil may this be? A trickery in the formest of a doctors pill? Be gone from mine office, temptress!

    And thou, man, maker of sperm; how dost thou intendeth protection of mine valued properties? A boy not ten years on this Earth may ooze the life building elixir. Whilst thou be celibate as our good Sheppard, or risk the sleepless nights of Fatherhood? A task most virtuous – yet also stealing from mine properties – with thou reddened eyes and distracted apparitions of the mind. Shouldst thou escape thy responsibilities and wear the dark cloak of concern? Alas! Thou also performest as a devil of all thieves!

    Oh beflattening weight of godly power decreed by NZ Business. Such a cross the virtuous Burgher must fairly bare; beset amid woe and endless cost.

    Silence, peasants! Thou shalt not interrupt mine order nor reduce mine omnipotence. None less than a Eunuch will suffice. Castration or celibacy, I carest not.

  3. Dv 3

    What gets me is if you don’t have kids there wont be enough consumers in the future to the businesses to sell the products to.

    Also why is it that the ‘businesses’ don’t feel they have a responsibility within the community they operate?


    >>may well think hard before again employing a woman of child-bearing age
    What about the men.
    That would mean the pool f no employables would be most of the population between the ages of 18 and 50!!!!

  4. Jenny 4

    If employers are determined to break the law and discriminate against hiring women of child bearing age. On the birth of a child pay both parents to stay at home to care for the baby for the first 6 months.

    See how you like that, you greedy old bigots.

  5. infused 5

    You lot are in fantasy land.

    • fatty 5.1

      …one of your better arguments infused, well done

    • One Tāne Huna 5.2

      lol Infused. “I don’t want to employ anyone who might have children.” Who’s in fantasy land?

      I note you don’t seem to fussed about law and order though.

  6. karol 6

    Question:  Why are Business NZ so opposed to  extending Paid Parental Leave?  They say it will cost employers.  But how much does it actually cost employers?  There will actually be a government contribution, whereas now, parents take leave without that.  So I’m wondering if BusNZ is challenging the Bill to extend paid leave, in support of the government and its desire not to pay for it.
    Many employers like to give a good paid parental leave entitilement because it’s good PR, helps to maintain staff after they give birth and makes less hassle with recruiting more staff.
    In the House  today, Brownlee was asked a question related to the cost to buiness, and he replied with how much it would cost government.

    Sue Moroney: Does he agree, then, with National MP Tim Macindoe, who told the Waikato Times on 11 April this year that any rise in costs would have business owners looking to cut spending, and that one way of doing that would be to employ men rather than women?
    Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: There are big costs that need to be met. It costs the Government $163 million a year to meet this programme. The Prime Minister is not responsible for Mr Macindoe’s comments on these matters.

    Sue Moroney: Given that Paul Mackay was reported by Radio New Zealand as stating that Business New Zealand’s paid parental leave submission was based on political discussions, did those discussions involve the National Party?
    Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: I am not able to answer that, but what I can say is that Business New Zealand talks to many, many groups, including the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union, and, I would hope, the Labour Party.

    RNZ report says:

    Business New Zealand’s manager of employment policy Paul Mackay says this is called human capital depreciation and having to upskill workers is a cost to employers.
    Mr Mackay says it is not a good time economically for the state to support more paid leave.


  7. PlanetOrphan 7

    Ultimately, some women will take five – seven years off, This Law is about protecting women who really need/want the job after x months.

    Surely the system should allow for a more flexible timeframe full stop?

    Business New zealand must be pandering to the leadership.

    The Gnats’ must be Playing a “Don’t rock the Boat” card at the moment?
    (i.e We are living the “Moronic Follow Through”)

  8. Jenny 8

    Currently those who can least afford it are taking time off unpaid to raise children. Nobody questions this. This is a free subsidy to employers by their workers.

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