National’s promises aren’t worth the paper that they’re printed on. They’ve broken plenty and downgraded most of the rest to “aspirational goals” (so much for catching up with Australia). Now John Key’s current anti-worker employment policies add a whole new chapter to the list of broken promises. Before the election Key said:
Key says National will largely retain the Employment Relations Act
National has said if it is elected to power it will largely retain the Employment Relations Act (ERA).
National leader John Key said his party’s industrial relations policy would keep the ERA in place, but introduce a 90 day trial period for firms with fewer than 20 staff.
“Good-faith provisions will still apply, as will rights to sick leave, holidays, and health and safety provisions. Rules of natural justice and human rights legislation will apply. Mediation will be available in disputes, and employers won’t be able to hire and fire the same employee every 90 days,” Mr Key said.
National has dropped its 2005 policy of restricting union access to work places, but will allow workers to bargain collectively without having to belong to a union.
Mr Key said National would also keep four weeks annual leave, but allow employees to trade the fourth week for cash. This could only be at the employee’s request and could not be raised in negotiations for an agreement.
Now Key wants to break the promise to restrict the fire at will bill to firms with fewer than 20 staff. Now Key wants to break the promise not to restrict union access to work places. Now Key wants to break his promise and make sick leave rules unworkable. Now Minister of Labour Kate Wilkinson refuses to confirm that good-faith provisions still trump fire at will. And does anyone believe that the employee will be in control of their annual leave in every work place? Yeah right.
Among other changes to the Employment Relations Act, the test for justified dismissal will be changed from what a reasonable employer “would” do, to what a reasonable employer “could” do. The change makes the test easier to justifiably dismiss a worker.
Remember this in 2011 people. The Nats have lied their way into government, and they will try to lie their way into a second term. John Key’s promises are nothing more than focus group driven hot air. He’ll tell you want you want to hear, then sell you down the river. With a smile and a wave.