It’s different when it’s your job

Written By: - Date published: 12:50 am, July 18th, 2010 - 44 comments
Categories: class war, workers' rights - Tags:

In a pretty shameful piece of political pandering, the Department of Labour has released a study on the 90 Day Fire at Will legislation just ahead of John Key’s announcement to extend it to all working Kiwis. When Fire at Will was introduced, the Minister of Labour, Kate Wilkinson, said DoL wouldn’t be monitoring its effects, so it’s no surprise that this is a pretty half-arsed and politically convenient piece of work.

The report isn’t on the DoL website (great work, guys) but the media coverage shows that it is written almost entirely from the employer’s perspective. Not surprisingly, employers love being able to hire someone and fire them without justified cause or fair process. It gives them carte blanche to fire anyone who isn’t completely subservient. Of course they want Fire at Will extended to all workers.

I can’t help but notice a sinister coincidence: the percentage of workers who were fired after their 90 no rights period (Derek Cheng means during the period, surely) and the share of the workforce that is unionised are both about 22%.

But it’s not just workers who want to join a union that will be at the mercy of the boss if this comes to pass. You will face being fired for literally anything. Sure, in theory, the boss can’t breach your human rights by firing for, say, getting pregnant but what’s to stop them? Under the law as it stands, the boss can fire you during your no rights period and isn’t even required to give you the reason in writing. And any reason that they do give doesn’t have to be supported by the facts because you have no legal recourse to challenge it.

Say you get pregnant and the boss fires you when they find out saying ‘sorry, you’re just not up to the job’. You would be right to think the real reason is your pregnancy, which would make the sacking illegal but there would be no way for you to get justice: no court, no tribunal which you would have a right to access.

This isn’t the 19th century. We deserve better. It is simply not acceptable that to get a job we have to give up our rights to be treated fairly. These are our incomes, our livelihoods, how we support our families, at stake. The right to fair treatment at work shouldn’t be dependent on having a fair-minded boss. Your dignity and your livelihood are guaranteed by enforceable work rights.

And it seems Kiwis get it. The first generation of Fire at Will applied only to workplaces with fewer than 20 employees – it was mainly young and poor workers on the minimum wage who were its victims, and we know that the middle class doesn’t really give a crap about them. But now the middle class’s jobs will be on the knife edge too and they’re not happy.

This will be an issue that causes National to bleed votes, especially if Labour and the unions organise a strong campaign. Middle New Zealand might not have cared much about the first round of Fire at Will but it’s different when it’s your job at risk.

44 comments on “It’s different when it’s your job”

  1. Bruce 1

    Unfortunately with National polling so high, they feel they can get away with first testing the mood, then pushing whatever they want through – usually done very fast to give any opposition very little time to organise resistance.
    At the same time we have right wing minded people coming on this blog pretending to claim they have NZ workers’ best interests at heart and know whats best for us o_O ..Big Bruv, you and your ilk have a god damn nerve.
    “Us employers wanna have less risk when taking on new employees, so with this law change more employers will try before they buy, therefore reducing unemployment” – This despite practically asking everything but what time a potential employee sits on the toilet when they apply for a job, including references from last employers, phoning them, putting them through computerised personality checks, testing body fluids, and filling out 5 page questionaires. Unemployment has not gone down since this law was introduced – The last Government did not need this law to reduce unemployment down to the lowest levels in decades FACT!
    Evidence thrown into the debate today by National suggested that three quarters of employees were kept on after 90 days of probation, …. so 25% of people were sacked before 90 days of probation (250/1000 people, 2500/10000 people – thats a lot of people)
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/3929746/National-Party-President-survives-challenge
    “Good workers have nothing to fear” – that is unless they complain about something.
    To conclude, this legislation is for lazy and unscrupulous employers. I believe that the many good employers, who are prepared to do things by the book, have no problem at all with current Labour legislation: ie. where they give employees a second chance to correct bad behaviour for minor offences (current legislation allows for instant dismissal for major offences at any time of the employment).
    A consistent and historic tactic by the National Party is to make people feel insecure about their jobs – this is exactly the same as lazy and unscrupulous employers when it suits them.

  2. Bruce 2

    To boil my long winded comment down, I think a keyword is ethics. This Government is unethical and this proposed law encourages unethical behaviour.

    • illuminatedtiger 2.1

      To borrow a quote from Michael Moore immoral behavior breeds immoral behavior.

  3. tsmithfield 3

    The evidence is that the substantial majority of workers kept their jobs. The figures for the number that lost their jobs doesn’t really mean anything unless it is compared against the number that would have lost their jobs under the previous act over the same timeframe.

    What would be interesting to know is how those figures compare after 12 months. It may be that the 90 day process speeds up the inevitable, and that most of those that lost their jobs would have done so anyway over the slightly longer timeframe it took for employers to rid themselves of unsuitable employees under the old act.

    The other thing is that if employers are willing to take more risks due to the act they may also make more mistakes. This may not only be in terms of choosing the wrong employee. But in terms of misjudging the business environment. An employer might take the risk of taking on another employee due to the 90 day bill believing that the business environment will pick up sufficiently in that time frame to make the extra position sustainable in the long term. However, if those conditions do not eventuate the new employee may have to be made redundant.

    For those people who get jobs that would have otherwise been sitting on the dole queue, the prospect of a 75% chance of keeping their brand new job after 90 days has got to be pretty good. There is also powerful motivation for the employee to perform at their best from the get go since they can’t rely on a protracted warning process to save their arses.

    Another point is that Labour is again finding a way to disconnect with voters. A great many voters will be parents with teenage children approaching the age when they will be looking for jobs. Those parents will be acutely concerned and aware of how difficult it is for a teenage worker fresh to the job scene to get their first break. The thought that employers will now find it much easier to give them that first chance will undoubtably be a great relief. The message from Labour is they want to take that opportunity away.

    • The Voice of Reason 3.1

      “A great many voters will be parents with teenage children approaching the age when they will be looking for jobs.”

      Dead right, TS. And that’s the worry for National. The parents of the ones who keep their jobs won’t be influenced in their voting on the issue, because it will be a moot point, but the parents of the ones who do get unfairly dismissed will be pissed off. Even more so if it happens to them as well.

      And as for your bollocks about redundancy. Bosses can lay people off as redundant now. All this pathetic change does is make it cheaper to do so. It also passes all the risk for it to the worker, who is already in a position of vulnerability. Still, in a way, I’m looking forward to the next election even more. The last idiot to blow a big parliamentary majority over issues like this was little Johnny Howard. He’s so tainted he can’t even get a job offer, let alone a trial period.

    • Kevin Welsh 3.2

      TS, if employees showed the same lazy and indifferent attitude towards their jobs as many employers show in their methods of hiring staff, then I would have no problem with them being fired.

      I have worked in printing and related industries for the last 26 years, and almost all the problems with staffing can be laid at the feet of employers.

      In the days of compulsory unionism, the Printing and Related Trades Union was very moderate and industrial action few and far between. In fact I would say the Union had a very good working realtionship with the majority of employers. After the Employments Contract Act was bought into law and union membership declined dramatically, employers still thought they had a large pool of qualified tradespeople they could pick and chose from and so decided to discontinue their financial support of the printing trade school based at ATI in Auckland. This resulted in a dramatic reduction of qualified people through retirement, people leaving to work in Australia and people leaving the industry to pursue other ventures.

      The end result was that company’s looking to replace staff trained under the old apprenticeship system have almost no chance of hiring an experienced and qualified tradesperson these days.

      Their options are to either hire a polytech graduate with a 1 year diploma or 3 year ‘degree’, or take their chances by training someone off the street.

      From my experience, the courses based around design, which is my area of expertise are practically worthless when it comes to working in industry. Tertiary institutes spend 1 or 3 years filling students head with fancy rubbish that has no practical application in industry and leaves them with only the most basic of computer skills.

      When I completed my aprenticeship and achieved Trade Certificate in the mid 1980’s, an employer could employ me knowing I had achieved an acceptable standard in both the theory and practical aspects to my trade. They did not need 90 days to decide if I was any good. Unionism and Trade Certificate was very good at weeding out the no-hopers.

      I work for an employer who is, for the most part, a good employer, but he has no idea when it comes to hiring staff. Although to be fair, his hands are somewhat tied in that he does not have a large pool of QUALIFIED and EXPERIENCED people to draw upon, so he is forced to take a punt on hiring people.

      End result is 90 Day Probation was never needed in the past because there was always a continuous of supply of qualified and experienced people available. So, why do emplyers think they need it now? Because a lot/most/some employers are too lazy to either train existing staff or spend the time and money to make sure they hire the right person.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 3.3

      You say it encourages employers to take a chance. In reality it just gives employers an excuse to be lazy when job hiring. When I was hired five years ago (in a very employee friendly job market) my current employer spoke to my last two employers, interveiwed me twice and I’m pretty certain went through all my previous work history closely. I’m pretty certain he knew what he was getting. Now I’m sure a lot of employers will still take care when hiring under the new rules but a lot will think, “if it takes time and costs me money to check up on applicants why bother?” I’ll take the first person to walk through the door and ditch them if they are no good.

      When signing an employment contract an employee accepts certain obligations. Seems the same does not need to apply for employers anymore.

    • “For those people who get jobs that would have otherwise been sitting on the dole queue, the prospect of a 75% chance of keeping their brand new job after 90 days has got to be pretty good. There is also powerful motivation for the employee to perform at their best from the get go since they can’t rely on a protracted warning process to save their arses.”

      Load of bollocks, and what’s more you know it.
      – Simply from a self-interest point of view, employers are generally going to hire the people that are best suited, qualified, experienced for the position. That’s a no brainer, and the 90 day bill will not change this. And this isn’t the problem.
      – Employers are unlikely to take a risk on someone who doesn’t meet these criteria, i.e. reformed prisoners, long term unemployed because they will not make it through the several rounds of applications/interviews/employment checks etc. So the whole, make it easier to get jobs spin is crap.
      – It simply makes it easier to fire people for no reason. Nothing else. And there is no other intention for it to do anything other than that. Sure a majority of employers will probably not abuse this law, but labour (and most other) laws should be made to protect those who do get screwed.
      – Those employers who hired a bad egg simply have themselves to blame, because they did not perform sufficient background checks.

      • Pete 3.4.1

        Those employers who hired a bad egg simply have themselves to blame, because they did not perform sufficient background checks.

        Yeah and there must be better ways they could think of, to make it easier to deal with the bad eggs.

        Making loops holes for the bad egg employers to then use and abuse ,and making everyone pay.

        Is not smart.It is utterly thick.

        And it will make more working class New Zealanders lose any confidence they had left in this contry ,and they will start move offshore faster and faster.

    • Alexandra 3.5

      “The thought that employers will now find it much easier to give them that first chance will undoubtably be a great relief. The message from Labour is they want to take that opportunity away.”
      I couldnt agree less. Most parents want their kids and young adults to feel secure and supported during the very important transition into the adult world. Their initial experiences in employment shapes not only how they view their own potential, but also that of employers generally. Good employers should resist this policy to preserve their reputation here and overseas.
      A dismissal without the opportunity for redress will be devasting to the confidence of young people, just when they most need encouragement and a little slack. The justifications given for this are just lies and spin for the heartless and greedy.

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    Just one person kicked out of their job for no reason will have half a dozen neighbours- friends- family.
    One person who keeps there job, who will say hurrah for the national party.

    Dont you just laugh at the spin – ” a great many voters will be parents with teenage children” Yeah right. The numbers are actually tiny

  5. luva 5

    There is nothing I hate more than the use of emotive language in politics and the use of hysteria to try and make a point.

    In the 2000/2001 period when Labour introduced the Employment Relations Act, those on the far right screamed that the legislation would cause huge industrial unrest, there would be massive strikes and essentially the sky was about to fall in. The unfonded comments were absolute rubbish before during and well after the legislation was passed. And as we now know the sky is still hanging up there.

    I now see the same crap coming from the other side with emotive labels like “fire at will”. Please use case studies and evidence to prove your point. Why try to scaremonger people into accepting ones point of view.

    If the 90 day probation period was such an issue why have we not heard about it at all since it was introduced. Since the legislation was introduced can someone tell me how many protests there have been against it. Can someone tell me how many posts on the standard there have been highlighting how unjust it is.

    I find it very strange that National haters are screaming from the rafters right now, yet the internationally accepted 90 day probation period has hardly been mentioned anywhere in the past 18 months.

    I may be synical but to me this seems like politics at its worst. Scaremongering

    • comedy 5.1

      “I may be cynical but to me this seems like politics at its worst. Scaremongering”

      No need to beat yourself up it’s the level of discourse we get in NZ and why we continually have to choose between 1 pack of morons and another pack of morons in power.

      This is a pointless little piece of legislation that makes F all difference to the number of hires and fires in the greater scheme of things. All that really makes of difference to the number of jobs in the economy is if it is ‘booming” or not and the governments of the day really have little influence on that for the better but can have influence on it for the worse.

    • IrishBill 5.2

      There are certainly horror stories such as the girl who was told she was on a trial period and should spend her whole part-time wage on shoes from the shop that she worked on:

      http://www.3news.co.nz/Overland-worker-told-to-buy-shoes-worth-more-than-her-wages/tabid/817/articleID/115610/cat/221/Default.aspx#

      But the real issue with both the 90 day law and cutting the access rights of workers’ unions is that both policies will reduce aggregate bargaining power across the whole workforce which will apply downward pressure on wages.

      Similarly the (slight) shift in bargaining power back to workers in 2000 saw wages steadily increase throughout the following decade.

      • luva 5.2.1

        Bill

        Thank you for presenting a case study. It is great to argue over facts rather than silly slogans.

        Comedy, I agree it hard to choose between morons. Since 1981 I have voted for one side 6 times and the other 4 times. It is very hard to distinguish between them at times.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      If the 90 day probation period was such an issue why have we not heard about it at all since it was introduced.

      You haven’t heard about the abuse because no ones looking.

      • Tigger 5.3.1

        Can someone confirm what I heard on the news last night – that the DOL report talked to (only) 18 employees…?

  6. As usual they throw the baby out with the bathwater … it seems to me that over time we have built up an onerous system under which it is difficult to sack the unsatisfactory worker and instead of making it more reasonable they just scrap it altogether. I was taken by the lass on TV3 saying she didn’t know why she was sacked, so that she could mend her ways … that seems very unfair to me.

  7. logie97 7

    @luva “Please use case studies and evidence to prove your point. ”

    You talk about reality. In reality, how many of the 24 percent who have lost their jobs, would be so organised to report their dismissal. In reality, how many would know who they should go to? In reality, they would have been employed in non-unionised situations, and, apart from complaining to family and friends, knowledge of their cases would be left at that.

    Perhaps luva, you have some facts that you could share with the rest of New Zealand. How many work places, outside the state, employ more than 20 people? I would suggest that the majority of them will be multi nationals – and we all know where their priorities lie.

    • luva 7.1

      Don’t bother to ‘suggest’ and infer. Just tell me….

      I am quite happy to be presented with the horrible stories. If there is a strong case to oppose this based on real evidence then I will jump in the protest with you.

      It just comes as some surprise why there has been almost complete silence on this law over a considerable period of time.

      • Bill 7.1.1

        From the same bus company I believe.

        Some months back I was approached by a driver who had been fired…from what he could figure it was because he’d scraped the paintwork on a reversing manoeuvre. Couldn’t think of any other reason. No lateness. No nothing. He has two kids (there goes the wff). He’d been employed less than 90 days.

        Then, just the other week overheard a conversation between two bus drivers. One had just been told not to bother going to work on the Monday. He’d received no holiday pay and was on his way to see a lawyer. Being a nosey bugger I asked him how long he’d been driving for the company. (Less than 90 days.) And what was happening to the hours of other workers. (His ‘offsider’ was getting an increase in hours)

        But you might want to ask yourself luva, how many workers in the service industry have been churned through employment by the practice of having their shifts reduced to an unsustainable level and have just walked away because they don’t know what to do or even that what happened was unlawful? The answer is many.

        And the reasons I’ve come across for the few who were aware such tactics could be challenged ranged from the boss simply not liking them to favouritism (ie wanting to give ‘person a’ extra hours…the ones currently being being done by ‘person b’), the employee being too conscientious around health and safety issues for the bosses liking, standing up to workplace bullies ( often the boss’s ‘favourites’ who can act with impunity or the boss themselves) and then the more common than you might think reason…simply being smarter and more able than the boss.

      • Descendant Of Smith 7.1.2

        See my earlier post about my own sons experiences. Note too there are a few more I could have added.

        It’s at the end of the National’s attack on working Kiwis. My eldest son put up with bad treatment from one employer for two years before he left to find other work. That apparently is the longest any young person has lasted with that employer.

        The lack of choices and the lack of respect for these young people by employers means their work ethic is less now than it was.

        Employers to seem to forget that they are young people – they are not grown adults and are learning the way – but no employers seem to want fully functioning robots with no minds of their own, no opinions, no advice, no sense of fun and enjoyment. Employers are patently unwilling to invest time and effort and training in these young people i.e. you’re probably a pretty crap employer who relies on low cost margins to exist.

        This is simply part of the right conservative views of the working class as cannon fodder for the factories. Reducing educational opportunities goes hand in hand with this.

        The talk about these kids costing firms their business as a justification is so much errant nonsense it’s not funny. Any cursory look through the newspapers will show you that the real harm done to businesses is done by adults – the frauds, the thefts, the taking of personal grievances – most of these are done by grown adult people – not by young people.

        If the employers wanted to follow a seemingly more successful government program for young people then they would be touting the Job Opportunities package as the panacea to youth employment.

        Quote:
        Job Ops has already kept more than 4000 young people in work, learning new skills while remaining connected to the labour market. We’re determined to continue this success”, Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says.
        The programme was initiated by the National Government to help young New Zealanders stay in work through the recession by providing employers with a $5000 subsidy to employ young people.
        “Young people are among the hardest hit in a recession because they often lack skills and experience and this scheme offers them a way through,” Ms Bennett says.

        Where’s the DOL report outlining how many of these people still have a job after 6 months as a comparison of which might be a better option.

        The problem of course this change isn’t about creating employment for young people this is about supporting bad and ;lazy employers and about further casualising the workforce – an ever creeping practice.

        The last thing it is about is investing in young people and the second to last thing it is about is creating work for people to do.

        At a time when a real government should be focused on building the supply side this government is focused on shafting the supply side.

        • Descendant Of Smith 7.1.2.1

          Slight correction:
          At a time when a real government should be focused on building the demand side this government is focused on shafting the supply side.

  8. Nick C 8

    “This is a pretty half-arsed and politically convenient piece of work”

    You really are an ideologically driven half wit Marty. Have you read the report? No. But can you dismiss it as garbage because it doesnt favour your ideology. Yes! You base this on your perception that “the media coverage shows that it is written almost entirely from the employer’s perspective.” Firstly its almost impossible to tell the substance of what probably is a long report from a 2 minute story. But secondly you know perfectly well that the media often distort things or report them in odd ways.

    IrishBill: take a week off for the halfwit comment.

  9. Bill 9

    Radio NZ wuld have us believe that the survey covered 132 employers.

    TV3 would have us believe that the survey covered 1000 employers.

    The Herald would have us believe that the survey covered 527 employers.

    I go for the 132 myself as they were the only ones who completed both parts of the survey and hired somebody.

    That 20% of those hired by the 132 employers were fired is truly horrendous, especially when some admit to firing due to attitude. Think about that for a second. A person lost their livelihood because the boss (what?) didn’t think they smiled enough? Didn’t think they expressed enough gratitude?

    edit heh. You imagine the blank spaces on this blog if people were banned for attitude? And the howls of indignation that would rise up prior to the next round of bannings for bad attitude? But it’s okay in the minds of some to take away a persons job on that basis?

    • Fisiani 9.1

      20 % not up to the job and let go. Hardly horrendous. Seems very reasonable and fairminded .That’s the whole point of a work trial. A minority are found to be just not suited.
      Smiling may well be a crucial aspect of a sales job for instance. If someone lounged over a counter with a permanent droopy and insolent look on their face they are not suited for sales. Previously an employer would be saddled with such a liability and have no redress to handle someone who was destroying their business.

      In fact one third of those let go were let go inside 2 weeks. The 80% who proved themself and remain employed are grateful for the chance. This is a huge vote winner for National.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 9.1.1

        If it were such a winner why has it taken them so long to do it? Why was it not mentioned last election?

  10. ZombieBusiness 10

    90 Day Fired? Still looking for a job? Sure you’ll find one eventually and your
    behaviour will have changed,. Will your outlook be subservient? Sure. How
    long before an employer hires an new employee with the ‘socially engineered’
    subservience behaviour. Eventually that’s right, every employer will find
    a lot of butt lickers showing up, defensive and desperate to please.

    Its called big government social engineering!

    National argues that employers need to lower costs and so true
    to form is shifting costs and risks on to the employees and
    the unemployed. Who now have to cover increased costs, increased
    uncertainty of getting to interviews, investing time and
    money finding work. Cutting their expenditure because they don’t know
    whether they will have a job tomorrow.

    So not only does the government shift the cost on to the unemployed, the harder
    to employ, the less meek more independant minded (out the window with
    the knowledge economy, we’re a low wage country!), but the government
    says to employees everywhere your interchangable, we can throw you
    away, just give us a reason to lower your wages. Don’t like it,
    then please take a hike to OZ if you have any sellable skills!

    Yes, because that’s the effect, the depopulating of NZ by the NZ government
    of citizens with independance of mind, self-esteem. Young people, on your plane!
    National aren’t just nasty and stupid, they have a plan, and that is to turn
    NZ into a place for people more like them with a subservient serf class.
    And man aren’t you serfs gullible and taking it, National pollings are still high.
    Nasty and stupid is rewarded. Now I know where our kids learn their lesson.
    Get blind drunk and show everyone what a dork you are! National teaching our kids
    ethics.

    Thanks for playing National Socialism 101.

    Funny thing though, if you get a job in the family business, the boss (your
    relative) would never consider throwing you out after 90 days, they want you
    to succeed so they carry you. So try to be born into a ‘good’ kiwi family.
    Welcome to the class system in action.

    • just saying 10.1

      As if NZanders haven’t already been “socially engineered” enough with right wing dogma.
      Ironic really, while talkback-land and the Chris trotters of this country were frothing at the mouth about the “feminazis” and the “Maaaaris,” the capitalist engineering agenda was steadily reconfiguring our thinking with barely a whimper of protest.

      And now we have the latest step in our national metamophisis into serfdom.

      Very few people can be subserviant and hold on to their confidence and self-respect. Seems to be one of the reasons we hear so little from the many at the bottom of the heap, they feel ashamed. With the progressive slide into a police state, dissent will be able to be efficiently crushed, but humiliation, degradation and victim-blaming is such an effective prophalactic, there may not be that much call for widespread protest-busting.

      Maybe Sue Bradford’s banishment from leadership in the Greens could be an opportunity for a new left-wing movement……..?

  11. Santi 11

    Good on the Nats for having the balls (at last) of doing this.

    • Descendant Of Smith 11.1

      The problem isn’t that they have the balls to do it – it’s that they don’t have the courage and leadership not to.

    • logie97 11.2

      It’s nice to see the right are literate as well, Santi. It’s doubtful you would have passed Tolley’s standards with that comment.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 11.3

      Yes, I agree they are pretty piss-weak. They didn’t have the guts to mention this during the last election. I’m wondering what else they will forget to tell us next year.

  12. gingercrush 12

    Surely one needs to question the Unions strategy over all of this. They knew National would eventually make the 90 day Bill available to all employers. They disagreed with it when it was first implemented and clearly stated they’d have a name and shame record kept. Were they all that naive that they the Unions simply forgot about it all?

    Because with National indeed making the 90 day fire-at-will available to all employers You would think the Unions would actually show evidence of how troubling this will be for employees. And while I support the 90-day law I have no doubt many employers abused the system. Hence, why the fuck don’t the Unions have more evidence about such an abuse.

    This seems to be the whole problem with the left. They have no strategy. While many of them were congratulating themselves because of how many marched against Mining in Auckland or the so-called opposition to the Auckland Super-city. There is no strategy whatsoever when it comes to workers rights? You knew National would do this. You the left should have had the strategies in place for when National finally decided to act, you’d have proper arguments against the policies.

    What the left have is very few examples and a flawed argument that is not going to get traction with the wider electorate. For all the talk of National’s secret agenda you would think the left and in particular the unions could collectively have a proper strategy to combat the implementing of such policies. The fact is no matter how many times you protest or make a fuss. That isn’t a strategy. That’s just bullshit.

    What this shows is why Labour and the left will not govern in 2011. Its not because your ideas and principles are wrong neither is it the policy. Its because the left refuse to collectively act. And if I was left-wing and a member of the Greens or Labour or an Union member I’d frankly be worried at how useless your lot seems to be. The collective left is in deep trouble. That’s plain to see. It explains why when Helen Clark was in government, the left actually didn’t achieve much. And why despite nine years of a Labour-led government. New Zealand on the whole still acts in a neo-liberal and conservative area of economics and politics.

  13. Mac1 13

    Santi, there is no manhood displayed in removing rights or unduly exercising power especially on the already weak. It’s not balls the NACT government lacks- it’s compassion. It takes balls to stand up to power, though.

  14. Pete 14

    tsmithfield 3 “An employer might take the risk of taking on another employee due to the 90 day bill believing that the business environment will pick up sufficiently in that time frame to make the extra position sustainable in the long term. However, if those conditions do not eventuate the new employee may have to be made redundant.”

    Kind of like taking on another puppy from the local pound.It makes it easier to take on the risk that you can actually afford to feed and house them .But if so happens you move house, or later find out you actually couldnt really afford to feed the puppy after all. Then its not you loss. you can always simply give the puppy the quick flick !

    And if you are Exclusive Brethren employer, and find out so happens your new employee is a gay puppy or an unmarried puppy living in sin in your eyes .This 90 trial period is extremly great miracle gift supplied by the Gods, because you dont need to supply any reason at all, you can simply tell the pound puppy it isnt working out. And bingo those naughty gay and unmarried puppies wont be around to defile the other brethren puppies

    But hey we can trust National and shifty eyed Key and co, and those employers rubbing their greasy little mitts together, honestly really do only have all our best interests in mind .And pigs fly too

  15. vto 15

    marty: “middle new zealand doesn’t care about the poor”.

    Really?

    And you know this how?

    And if so how is this different from “other new zealand”.

  16. loota 16

    Want to see the Right try and run their business operations efficiently and effectively once the best working talent in this country has left.

    Might already have happened.

    • J Mex 16.1

      Except most of them went, or will go, to countries that have these exact same laws in place.

      You would therefore struggle to argue that it was the laws themselves that caused them to leave.

      When the first phase of the 90 day law came into effect, most posters on the Standard were expecting countless 90 day horror stories.

      Didn’t happen.

      Why would it happen with the extension of the law?

      • loota 16.1.1

        J Mex,

        The laws will encourage talent to leave because one of our comparative advantages as a job market – a friendlier, more respectful environment for workers – will be diminished.

    • comedy 16.2

      “Want to see the Right try and run their business operations efficiently and effectively once the best working talent in this country has left.”

      It happened a long time ago – the standard of management, graduates, builders, plumbers and politicians etc etc in NZ has become progressively worse over the last few decades.

      • loota 16.2.1

        I agree with you 100% comedy. As an example, a friend’s business down here in Dunedin sold an appliance to a client which needed to be freighted overnight from company stores in Christchurch to the Dunedin client site. No brainer, ship Tuesday overnight for Wed delivery.

        Wed arrives: nothing. Customer complains, my friend checks it out with the freight company, apparently the item is still in Christchurch with them, and was stuck behind other stock – OK to go overnight and be delivered to Dunedin on Thu.

        Thu arrives, nothing, no delivery. My friend is WTF and the client is livid. My friend rings the freight guys but has to leave messages everywhere because he can’t get through to an actual breathing human. The freight company rings back later in the day and says – Friday. Its going now and it will be in DN the next day, Friday. Client is promised a new delivery date.

        An hour later the freight company rings up – the item has somehow been damaged in their warehouse and its only been noticed now. They will have to go back to the company stores (which have now closed for the day) and pick a replacement unit up. No hope of Friday delivery to the client. Latest ETA – Monday, hopefully.

        That’s 6 days to get a frakin’ item from Christchurch to Dunedin (supposedly, it hasn’t managed to happen yet, we’ll find out tomorrow), with people needing prodding at every step just to manage the issues which were supposed to be their job. Forget about providing decent customer service levels or anything ‘fancy’ like that.

  17. KJT 17

    I can see the ineffectiveness of this and other policies on employment with my kids and their friends.
    How many examples do you want? I have dozens in one city alone.
    Including the ones who get employed by Mc off the WINZ list.
    Mc keep them employed until the 3 month subsidy runs out and then cut their shifts so they have to quit and make room for yet more subsidised employees, as the reduced hours do not even pay the cost of their travel to work. Meanwhile WINZ gloats about getting people into work. With the law change Mc are going to be spared the trouble of having to make the kids disenchanted enough to quit. They are just one of many similar large employers.

    When I had my business I found if I look after employees they look after me.

    In my supervisory position at present I have no problems with sorting inadequate employees legally and with the Unions co-operation. Most shape up after a good talk. If not you just have to use the process fairly. I do not see the need for more legislation except for those who intend to be poor employers. I get annoyed I have to compete with people who get away with this antisocial crap.

    If you cannot see what sort of employee a person will be after a week then you need a management skills upgrade. Also if you farm out employment matters to employment agencies you deserve what you get.

    Kind Regards

  18. Troll e-racer 18

    It works in every other country. Why not New Zealand?

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