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Kiwis against Nats’ Fire at Will

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 am, September 20th, 2010 - 83 comments
Categories: polls, workers' rights - Tags: ,

A UMR poll just out asked 750 Kiwis:

“Do you think that all employees should have the right to appeal if they think they have been unfairly dismissed, even if their dismissal was during the first 90 days of their employment?

The response was:

  • Yes 80%
  • No 18%
  • Unsure 2%

That’s incredibly damning. Kiwis have a basic sense of fairness and the National/ACT Fire at Will policy offends against that in every way.

Peter Conway, CTU Secretary, notes: “The CTU is not against trial periods. Nor do we oppose fair dismissal. But this Bill goes too far by removing the right of wage and salary earners to appeal against a dismissal, no matter how unfair, in their first 90 days of employment”

Will the Key Government listen to the people? Fat chance.

83 comments on “Kiwis against Nats’ Fire at Will”

  1. jcuknz 1

    It is sad that politicians pursuing their party line seem to often throw the baby out with the bath water. But the appeal process must be such that it doesn’t inhibit employers from taking on risky workers.

    • Vicky32 1.1

      Please define ‘risky workers’. I hope your answer doesn’t include gender, race or age…
      Deb

  2. tsmithfield 2

    Ask a stupid question…

    People answering this question would be reluctant to answer “no” because they might think they are also saying “no” to the right to appeal outside the 90 day period.

    Better wording would be:

    “Should workers have the right to appeal if they think they have been unfairly dismissed within the 90 day period.”

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Yes, I didn’t even spot that ts, very good point.

      Rubbish two-part question. It’s like the referendum questions from 1999 asking whether you support violent crime and whether violent crime should have harsher penalties in a single question (or whatever it was), or similarly the anti-smacking question that tried to cram so much bias into it that it didn’t make sense.

      • prism 2.1.1

        Very much agree about two-part questions. Anybody worth their salt would not have allowed anything so confusing be accepted for a referendum. The results do not have to be acted on, but the perception of the results give an indication of public opinion that is frequently referred to and has gone into the public psyche. And I can’t see how anyone can be sure of public opinions when the referendum broaches more than one problem.

    • The Voice of Reason 2.2

      Did you not understand the question, TS? The stupidity appears to be in your head, not in the question.

      It asks “even if their dismissal was during the first 90 days of their employment?”. That’s a pretty damn clear question and 80% of respondants agreed that the right to appeal should be there no matter when the dismissal occurs. Geddit now?.

      • Lanthanide 2.2.1

        Sorry, have to agree with tsmithfield.

        If you want to say “yes” to
        “Do you think that all employees should have the right to appeal if they think they have been unfairly dismissed”

        and “no” to
        “even if their dismissal was during the first 90 days of their employment?”

        what is the correct answer to give? Whether or not this is a sensible opinion to be holding your head is a separate issue, but the fact is there really are two separate ideas being expressed in this question which expects a singular yes or no answer. It’s bad survey design.

        • The Voice of Reason 2.2.1.1

          The correct answer for your example is a ‘no’ vote, Lanthanide. In the instance you give, the vote would be no because believing that the ninety day workers should not have the right clearly contradicts the ‘all workers’ part of the sentence. So if you genuinely believe ‘all’ workers should have the right, that logically must include the 90 day workers and a yes vote. If you believe that not ‘all’ workers should have that right, then it’s a no vote.

          Don’t fall for TS’s lines. This is a bad result for his masters and loyal servant that he is, he’s duty bound to spread fog and confusion where possible.

      • tsmithfield 2.2.2

        TVR, what about someone who agrees that it is OK for dismissal without appeal within the 90 days but disagrees with dismissal without appeal outside that timeframe?

        Someone who holds that view can’t really answer “No” because in doing so they would saying they disagree with both points of the question.

        This is the stupidity of the question.

        • Pascal's bookie 2.2.2.1

          Bollocks. ‘All workers’ includes those on 90 day trials. That’s what ‘all’ means.

          If you think workers on 90 day trials needn’t have rights, then you don’t think all workers deserve those rights. Simple stuff.

          • tsmithfield 2.2.2.1.1

            If you are correct, then there was no need to make mention of the 90 day period in the question at all. If the question simply asked whether “all employees should have the right to appeal unfair dismissal” then it would automatically include those under the 90 day provision.
            This question would have a lot more validity than the question put.

            • Lanthanide 2.2.2.1.1.1

              Or, better yet, ask both parts of the question as two separate questions, allowing separate yes and no answers to each.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.2.2.1.1.2

              You just don’t like the answer. You would criticise your suggested question here by saying it hides the issue at stake.

              Have you backed away from your silly suggestion that ‘not all’ means none?

              You’ve yet to explain why it’s invalid.

            • The Voice of Reason 2.2.2.1.1.3

              You’re grasping at straws now, TS.

              As you know the question was put that way to see what the strength of feeling for the retention of the right of appeal was in relation to the proposed change to the 90 day law. So reference to the 90 days is pretty bloody obviously required.

              • Lanthanide

                So why not simply ask:

                “Do you think that employees should have the right to appeal if they think they have been unfairly dismissed during the first 90 days of their employment?”

                Adding in an extra clause DOES confuse the question, and is strictly not necessary. The fact that we are discussing this shows that it does confuse the question and that there IS room for discussion about it – if it wasn’t confusing, I wouldn’t be talking about it. Whether it could ultimately be decided by strict interpretation of english and/or logic which of us has “correctly” interpreted the question or not is irrelevant to the point I’m making: the question, as written, is confusing, and muddies the answers elicited.

                It seems tsmithfield is saying that because the question is unclear, the results are meaningless – to this I disagree, see below (2.2.2.2.1.1.1).

                • mcflock

                  1: the question is not entirely clear, but is not internally mutually exclusive / self contradictory like the law & order referendum was (try a venn diagram).

                  2: oh wow, is this an actual survey of the general population, not just people with a vested interest in shitting on workers?

                  About bloody time!

                  And, as the survey that deals with the widest population (even if the question needs a wee tweak), it’s the reigning authority… of course the reason the tories hate is it that it doesn’t agree with them, whereas they’ve been standing by that bullshit survey of employers for weeks.

        • The Voice of Reason 2.2.2.2

          TS, if that person held that belief, they would vote ‘no’. As apparently a minority did. Stop dissembling and face the facts. This unfair change is going to help do to Key what WorkChoices did to little Johnny Howard. No amount of innacurate pedantry will change that.

          • Lanthanide 2.2.2.2.1

            In YOUR OPINION, “that person” would have voted no. But perhaps that person actually would have voted “yes”, because overall they thought right of reply to unfair dismissal in the general case was important, even if they would prefer to prevent right of reply in the 90 day case.

            The point is, we can’t 100% know for sure how the people that tsmithfield is describing would answer this question.

            In an 80/20 split like this of course it is unlikely to make any real difference, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is a bad question.

            • tsmithfield 2.2.2.2.1.1

              The other point is that if the purpose of the survey was to ascertain whether workers think it is fair for dismissal without a right to appeal under the 90 day law, then the question should have focused on those workers under the 90 day rule, not “all” workers.

              If the focus of the question was on “all” workers it should have focused on “all” workers and not mentioned workers under the 90 day law as a distinct category.

              As the question stands it is very ambiguous and unlikely to produce reliable results.

              • Lanthanide

                “unlikely to produce reliable results.”
                The results of 80/20 split are pretty clear.

                While I think this question is unclear, I don’t believe the level of ambiguity present is enough to overturn the general conclusion reached.

            • The Voice of Reason 2.2.2.2.1.2

              It’s good, clear question and if you can’t get your head around the difference between ‘all’ and not ‘all’, well, thats just a good example of how TS does his work and more fool you for being suckered. It’s not MY OPINION, as you put it, it’s logic.

              All is an absolute, anything less than all, in this question, requires a no vote. People either support rights for ‘all’ or they don’t. Yes or No.

              • Lanthanide

                From this page about survey questions: http://knowledge-base.supersurvey.com/response-bias.htm

                “Use both mutually exclusive and exhaustive response categories for closed-ended questions”

                “all”, with a following specific example, is not “mutually exclusive and exhaustive”. That’s the problem here.

                • The Voice of Reason

                  Ok, I get where you are coming from, Lanth, but I still don’t see how there is any confusion on this question. People who don’t feel the 90 day workers should have the right of appeal will vote no. If they get confused, then I guess they will vote ‘unsure’, as indeed 2% did.

                  Anyhoo, great wee discussion and thanks for putting an intelligent, researched point of view up. I respect that much more than TS’s position, which appears to be ‘can’t hear you, my fingers are in my ears, la la la ….’

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      I agree with TS. In this case it would have been better to have two questions.

      1.) Do you think that all employees should have the right to appeal if they think they have been unfairly dismissed?
      2.) Do you think that all employees should have the right to appeal if they think they have been unfairly dismissed within the first 90 days?

      That said, I don’t think it would have made any difference to the results – you would still have seen the 80% in favour, 20% against to both questions.

      • Lanthanide 2.3.1

        Agreed on both counts.

        captcha: finishes – this should be my final post as I’ve spent too much time on this already, and we’re just going around in circles at this point.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    Try asking “should employers be given the option to have a 90-day trial period for new hires” and see what results you get. I bet you’d still get 80% in favour of that.

    Of course there was nothing stopping you from having a 90-day trial period under the old legislation either.

    My point is, the question appears to be quite emotive/biased, so I’m not surprised they got 80% in favour.

    • Blighty 3.1

      The issue is whether we should have those rights or whether they should be taken away. the question is fine.

      Your question doesn’t include any information on what this actual trial period means. Even the CTU would say yes to your question because it’s a dumb question that doesn’t differentiate the fire at will law from the previously existing trial law.

      Like the CTU says, the problem isn’t trial periods – it’s this no rights period.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        I suppose so. tsmithfield’s point still stands, though.

        • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1.1

          nah. The question asks if all workers should have a right to appeal, even ninety day trial workers.

          It’s pretty hard to read a ‘no’ to that as meaning ‘no workers should have the right’. They are explicitly pointing out those on ninety day trials and asking if they too should have the right.

          Compare, Should all New Zealanders have the right to vote, even the worst prisoners and little babies?

          • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1.1

            First off, your example question is not very good. I am in favour of the worst prisoners being able to vote, but not little babies (how could they anyway?).

            So lets just do: “Should all New Zealanders have the right to vote, even the worst prisoners?”. If I say yes, am I saying yes to both clauses, when I don’t agree with the first clause (we should exclude babies). If I say no, I am saying no to both clauses, and I have specifically singled out that I don’t want “worst prisoners” voting but have left my objection to the first clause unclear.

            Saying “no” to the question as asked in the original post is specifically rejecting the second clause, but does not clearly define how you stand on the first clause.

          • Vicky32 3.1.1.1.2

            Prisoners, yes, babies no… (If the intellectually handicapped have the right to vote, and if little olds in rest homes, who in the words of my daughter in law who is a carer in a rest home “would vote for the Wombles if they could” (non compos mentis in other words) why did we ever decide to ape the Yanks and stop prisoners voting? The one good thing about all this is that at least we don’t bar them from voting for life!
            If we want to rehabilitate prisoners (and I presume we do), then saying to them that we don’t consider them part of society is not the way to go about it…
            Deb

  4. randal 4

    as letterman would say: what is that thing on top of his head?

  5. roger nome 5

    ““should employers be given the option to have a 90-day trial period for new hires” and see what results you get. I bet you’d still get 80% in favour of that.”

    That’s an academic point because the trial period has existed since 1991, where as the fire at will legislation has only existed since last year. You’re muddeling apples with oranges.

    Your question could mean “should we re-instate the ERA” – Where as the UMR question is unequvicoly asking whether employees should have the right to appeal a dismissal they feel it unfair (i.e. the opposite of what National has introduced). I don’t find it emotive either. If it were emotive it would read something like “If a boss asks an employee for sex, then fires them when they are declined, should the employee have the right to legal redress” – under the current law they don’t, because all the boss needs to say is “they weren’t working out”.

    It was the same when the Employment Contracts Act was introduced in 1991 – after it had been in place for a year people were sick of it and the surveys showed that.

    You rightists just have to get it through your head. Most New Zealanders find your belief system down right odious.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      Heh, I’m not a “rightist” at all 🙂 Your objections are about the same as Blighty, which I agree with.

      However saying “unfairly dismissed” is an emotive term, because “unfair” is subjective and generally a negative thing.

      A more direction question avoiding this would be “Do you think that all employees should have the right to appeal if they have been dismissed, even if their dismissal was during the first 90 days of their employment?”.

      Whether or not the employee “thinks” it is unfair or not is irrelevant to whether they have to the right to appeal a dismissal. That is, are you going to have a law that explicitly states that only dismissals that an employee “considers unfair” can be appealed? No, you wouldn’t, because obviously anyone who wanted to appeal a dismissal would simply say they thought it was “unfair” even in the face of insurmountable evidence to the contrary.

      • toad 5.1.1

        No, Lanth, “unfair” is an objective term under the current legislation, because the test of justification for disciplinary action relates to what a reasonable employer “would” do in the circumstances. It is the proposed new law that brings in an element of subjectivity, by amending that to what a reasonable employer “could” do.

        • Lanthanide 5.1.1.1

          You’re talking about this from a legal/legislative context.

          When you ask the average person on the street about the meaning of the word “unfair”, do you think they will trot out your definition of the word? When asking the average person on the street a question about the law in a survey, most of them would still not consider your definition of the word when answering the question, even if they really should be.

      • Vicky32 5.1.2

        “Heh, I’m not a “rightist” at all 🙂 ”
        Oh, I see, Lanthanide… I had been wondering (as a comparative newbie) where you stood!
        Deb

        • Lanthanide 5.1.2.1

          Firmly in the left, but I like to play devil’s advocate and don’t always agree with others on the left.

          • felix 5.1.2.1.1

            So are you “playing” tonight or do you actually believe the tripe you’re writing?

            • mcflock 5.1.2.1.1.1

              Actually, L is being pretty reasonable. No survey question is perfect, and this one has some flaws. But he did say :

              While I think this question is unclear, I don’t believe the level of ambiguity present is enough to overturn the general conclusion reached.

              2.2.2.2.1.1.1 (below a post by TS)

              so it’s pretty harsh to imply Lanth is in TS’ camp 100%

            • Lanthanide 5.1.2.1.1.2

              I stand by everything I have said: the question is unclear and IMO biased. It isn’t sufficiently unclear or biased to even remotely call into doubt the results, however. Now if they’d been closer, say 45/55 there’d be a little bit of wiggle room, but 80/20 is clear.

  6. roger nome 6

    No lanth – it acknowledges the subjectivity of the employee by saying “if they think”. Your argument is fucked.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      My point is that the question includes the term “unfair”. People will generally choose to reject “unfair” treatment, and so by including this emotive word you have automatically skewed the response that you are going to get to the question, regardless as to what it was actually asking about.

  7. Andrew 7

    I can never understand these types of polls, if you wanted to know whether New Zealander’s arefor or against the 90 day trial period as it sits in law, why didn’t they just ask, “are you in favour of the 90 day trial period as it currently sits” and outline the actual legislation.

    The question ignores the fact that the trial period is voluntary, the employees must specifically agree to it and must specifically sign a contract accepting they do not have the right to raise a personal grievance in the first 90 days.

    I too believe employees should be able to raise a personal grievance if they believe they have been wrongfully dismissed in the first 90 days, but not if they agreed not to before beginning their employment and the employer elected to employ them on the basis of the agreement and their promise to abide by the contract.

    • bbfloyd 7.1

      Andrew.. Your second paragraph is an exorcise in semantics.. to refuse to agree to a trial period would be to refuse to take the job.. calling it voluntary is actually dishonest on the part of lawmakers. how many people do you, or anyone know that have been able to refuse to submit to a trial period and still been offered the job in question? i would feel quite confidant that the percentage would, at best be down around 2-3%. if not a big doughnut in fact.

    • Aron Watson 7.2

      “The question ignores the fact that the trial period is voluntary, the employees must specifically agree to it and must specifically sign a contract accepting they do not have the right to raise a personal grievance in the first 90 days”

      Unless your on welfare, where one has been told to “accept any employment offered under any
      circumstances”…or else. On welfare, you have even less rights than the typical kiwi.

  8. roger nome 8

    You still don’t get it lanth – the question makes it clear that the “unfairness” is subjective, which is wayyyy different to a loaded, purportedly objective “unfairness”.

    That the question is openly acknowledging the subjectivity of the issue makes it fair. Your objection is nonsensical.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      From various online sources discussing survey questions:

      “Leading questions bias respondents by subtly directing them toward particular answers. These items usually provide judgments about ideas or concepts before the actual questions are asked — or the wording of the questions may just be biased from the outset. Leading questions can make respondents feel as if there is an obviously “correct” response, and that they would be foolish to answer otherwise.

      Loaded words are those which carry overtones or connotations that predispose a survey respondent to think in a certain way. If researchers use overly strong words (positive or negative), or use labels with clearly judgmental implications, this can bias respondents by priming them for certain mindsets. Consider the following example of a leading question filled with loaded words: ”

      I don’t think there’s any need to go further with this. You simply disagree that it is a loaded word in this context, whereas I think it is.

      • bbfloyd 8.1.1

        Lanth.. with respect, it looks more like that’s what you want to think it is rather than looking past the obvious to see the underlying reality. most people who took part in the poll would have had no trouble distinguishing the difference.

        the message is clear. playing semantics with the wording does nothing to detract from the reality that the vast majority of people in NZ do not want this legislation.

  9. ianmac 9

    John Key said at the extension of the 90 day rule, that they had consulted with employers who said that it was a good plan and working well. I think that it turned out that only 14 (?) employers had answered the query.

    • bbfloyd 9.1

      Ian… i think he may have been referring to the media coverage working well. that’s about the only thing he ever seems concerned about to mind…

  10. roger nome 10

    lanth –

    At the heart of the issue is whether or not people should have the legal right to seek grievances for wrongs committed against them, real or percieved.

    So i’m not sure how you can get around these surveys having an emotive aspect. It involves a basic right and wrong morality. Most kiwis strongly believe that everyone should get a fair go – i.e. have the right to seek justice if they feel that they’ve been wronged.

    Can you really be surprised that most kiwis fundamentally disagree with a law that was first put in to practice under a Latin Amercan dictatorship?

  11. greg 11

    I was one of those polled by UMR and twice asked for this particular question to be to repeated.

    My problem was that I agree with the 90 day trial period but also agree that those dismissed in that period should have the right to appeal.

    Your headline suggests I oppose the 90 day trial when clearly I don’t.

    Just a badly worded question as TS suggests.

    • Vicky32 11.1

      Greg, may I ask, are you an employer?
      Deb

    • The Voice of Reason 11.2

      The headline on this post has nothing to do with whether the question is a good one or not. They are unrelated.

      I hope you didn’t vote ‘unsure’, greg. Your comment suggests that you don’t even know now what you were supposed to say, but it’s actually pretty obvious from your support of the right of appeal.

      The headline of the post reads Kiwis against National’s Fire at Will, not Kiwi’s against the 90 day trial. The motivation behind the question you were asked is that the Nats want to remove the right of appeal within the 90 day legislation that already exists (and which they propose to extend). 80% of the respondents, including yourself, don’t want to see that right removed. It’s perfectly possible to like the 90 day trial, but oppose the removal of appeal rights.

      And therefore, as you are a reasonable, astute bloke, who knows his own mind, you answered ‘yes’ to the question “Do you think that all employees should have the right to appeal if they think they have been unfairly dismissed, even if their dismissal was during the first 90 days of their employment?”

      A well worded question and TS remains a befuddled stooge.

    • Juan Manuel Santos 11.3

      Greg, it seems the problem here is you don’t understand the issue in question. The Employment Relations Act has always allowed trial periods so long as there’s fair process and a right to appeal.

      National’s fire at will law just takes away the fair process and right to appeal for people during their trial period. So based on your comment you oppose National’s law, support the CTU (and Labour’s) position and should vote “Yes”.

  12. tsmithfield 12

    Of course the question itself is inaccurate with respect to the 90 day bill anyway. Employees still have all their rights of appeal under the human rights act (no bias on the grounds of race, religion, gender etc). So they may have less grounds to appeal, but there still are grounds available.

    • The Voice of Reason 12.1

      Pathetic, ts. You’re not even trying now. You know that no reason has to be given for the sacking, so what use is the HRA, huh? May as well appeal to Jebus.

      • tsmithfield 12.1.1

        Yeah right. Like any employer is going to give the reason for sacking an employee is because they are a Muslim or something.

        Whether under the 90 day law or not employees have to build a case to prove that an employer has breached the human rights act in dismissing them. It is highly unlikely that an employer will make an overt statement to this effect. Therefore, the fact that an employer doesn’t have to give a reason under the 90 day bill doesn’t really alter an employees capability to take a case under the human rights act.

        For the record, I actually think the 90 day bill is a good thing. However, I think that employers should be required to give a reason for sacking and that there should be some basic grounds of appeal for abusive behaviour by employers. So IMO the bill needs some amendment.

        So I may have been tempted to answer “yes” to the survey. However, that should not be taken as evidence that I don’t like the 90 day bill.

        • The Voice of Reason 12.1.1.1

          You’d be surprised how dumb employers can be, ts. But, unless they are really moronic, they are not going say it’s because ‘they are a muslim’. The number of successful employment law cases settled under the HRA now is bugger all, because it’s the wrong venue for employment law cases. The ERA is the right venue.

          Limiting the appeals to just that tiny percentage with grounds to an HRA hearing is utterly meaningless and devalues the employment relationship. Which is the point, I guess.

          Nice of you to suggest the bill needs amendment. It doesn’t. It needs rejection. I want to keep a right that you and I have had since the magna carta, since the establishment of New Zealand as a nation with laws based on the notion that an accused person can face their accuser, know the charges and mount a defence.

          • tsmithfield 12.1.1.1.1

            VOR, the reason I support the 90 day bill in principle is that under the current legislation specifying a trial period in a contract really gives no advantage to the employer. The employer must still go through the identical process to terminate a position whether it is the end of a trial period or some other time in the employment relationship.

            I think it is important that a trial period actually allows employers to trial an employee with less risk than would be the case in a permanent position. Otherwise there is no point to having a trial period at all. As I said, I think the current bill may have gone too far towards the employer. However, I still support the bill in principle in that it actually gives a purpose to having a trial period which is not the case under the current legislation.

            • Loota 12.1.1.1.1.1

              VOR, the reason I support the 90 day bill in principle is that under the current legislation specifying a trial period in a contract really gives no advantage to the employer.

              Support in principle?

              What about the detail?

              Do you believe that the bill does enough to protect employees from incompetent or unscrupulous managers?

              The employer must still go through the identical process to terminate a position whether it is the end of a trial period or some other time in the employment relationship.

              maybe that’s because that law embodies a respect for bilateral due process.

            • The Voice of Reason 12.1.1.1.1.2

              Actually, TS, having an agreed trial period in an agreement gives protection to both parties and a clear process for dismissal if things don’t work out. But, no matter.

              Leaving aside pedantry and semantics, how about you answer the question in the post, TS. You know what it means, even if you don’t like the wording. Go on, impress me. Tell me you don’t believe that it is fair to remove the previously inalienable right to face your accuser, be told the charges and mount a defence. It’s not about wordplay, it’s about the rights citizens have enjoyed for hundreds of years.

              Supplementary question. Should we remove the same rights from criminals?

              • Loota

                Next NAT brainwave will be to take away the right to vote from anyone who gets fired under the 90 day law because they are clearly not a good employee.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Actually, considering their actions in regards to the unemployed, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did make being fired a criminal offence.

                • Vicky32

                  Shudder, don’t give the bar-stewards ideas! That’s only too likely..
                  Deb

              • Draco T Bastard

                He already did VoR

                the reason I support the 90 day bill in principle is that under the current legislation specifying a trial period in a contract really gives no advantage to the employer.

                He’s one of the 20% I mentioned above that would say yes to removing peoples rights.

    • Vicky32 12.2

      “Employees still have all their rights of appeal under the human rights act (no bias on the grounds of race, religion, gender etc). So they may have less grounds to appeal, but there still are grounds available.”
      Except that these rights of appeal under the Human Rights Act are meaningless – I know, I have tried.
      Deb

  13. Bruce 13

    The thing that irks me as a worker is not having the chance to argue the case with a third party in the first 90 days, which is a Democracy issue. It further exposes this Government and it’s continued attacks on NZ Democracy.

  14. tsmithfield 14

    In answer to VOR, Draco, et al. since my last comment.

    IMO employers and employees should be able to enter into a fixed term 90 day trial period contract. However during that fixed term the employees should still have all the rights available to them under employment law. At the end of the three month period employers and employees can agree to enter into a permanent contract or not. This then makes a trial period an actual trial period while protecting workers rights, not a Claytons one as it currently is.

    Here is another question for you VOR and Draco. Under employment law employers have to go through hoops to terminate the employment of an unsuitable employee. However, employees can walk away whenever they like. In the interests of fairness and equity why shouldn’t it be equally difficult for employees to quit their job during the term of the contract?

    • The Voice of Reason 14.1

      Your ‘genuine’ 3 month trial is already common in NZ, ts, either by directly hiring on short term contracts or by using labour hire firms. Both allow the parties to have a good look at each other before a permanent position is offered.

      There are no hoops to jump through in dismissing an unsatisfactory employee. It’s actually easy. Letter of expectation or verbal counselling, monitoring, warning, final warning, dismissal. Ask a union official, they’ll tell you how to do it right. And for free.

      The notice period is whatever the employer decides it is in the agreement they offer. The usual arrangement is to mirror the pay period (ie weekly pay, weeks notice, monthly pay, months notice). Failure to give the notice usually involves the penalty of loss of income for the notice period. Have a look at your own IEA, ts, it’ll be there somewhere. Well, assuming you have an IEA and you aren’t paid piece rate (50 cents a comment sounds about right, with maybe a $10 bonus for every successful distraction).

      • tsmithfield 14.1.1

        VOR “There are no hoops to jump through in dismissing an unsatisfactory employee. It’s actually easy. Letter of expectation or verbal counselling, monitoring, warning, final warning, dismissal. Ask a union official, they’ll tell you how to do it right. And for free.”

        But this is the process that can be invoked at any point during the employment relationship. So there is no point in having a specified trial period if this is the extent of it. Exactly what I said in my previous post.

        VOR “The notice period is whatever the employer decides it is in the agreement they offer. The usual arrangement is to mirror the pay period (ie weekly pay, weeks notice, monthly pay, months notice).”

        The problem for employers is they can invest a lot in their staff in terms of training etc. When employees decide to leave during the term of the contract then employers lose that investment. If it was harder for employees to exit the contract then employers would invest more in their employees.

        • mcflock 14.1.1.1

          Two basic points here, TS:

          1) your scenario assumes an equal power relationship between employers and employees. The costs to the employee of suddenly losing the job are disproportionately greater than the costs to the employer of suddenly losing one employee.

          2) most jobs require minimal inhouse training if the managers can recruit with any basic level of competence. Your “staff training investment” generally involves (if lucky) a half day new staff integration workshop. Or just telling them where the bogs are. If the employer pays for additional training certification, they can put reimbursement clauses in the employment contract if the staff member quits within a certain timeframe.

  15. infused 15

    Title != question asked. Misleading.

  16. Tiger Mountain 16

    The real world effects of ‘fire at will’ on NZ workers and their families and communities are demonstrateably unfair and contrary to natural justice. With churn and uncertain employment and rising/high unemployment hundreds of thousands per year are potentially going to get a taste of ‘fire at will’ or become compliant pussycats at work lest they get a taste. That is the holy grail for the Natz here-“labour market flexibility”. Employers (in a general sense, I am sure there is a small employer commenting at the Standard who will squeak “not me, I’m a nice boss”) want the certainty to be able to treat workers as disposable, whereas us workers would like the certainty for continued employment, union rights and fair treatment and process.

    I can appreciate the intricate arguments about the poll question above, but it is staggeringly obvious to me that the CTU poll result accurately conveys what more and more people are realising about the proposed employment law. It is fucking well unfair! Unfair-geddit?

  17. jbanks 17

    Just another example of how the left dishonest bias works.

    When the anti-smacking referendum was poorly worded they were all over it.

    With this poorly worded 90-day poll they simply ignore this fact.

    And people wonder why ‘The Standard’ is not taken seriously by thinking men.

    • The Voice of Reason 17.1

      It wasn’t an anti-smacking referendum, it was a pro-smacking one and it was worded so well, one of its most prominent supporters couldn’t work out which way to vote. This question, on the other hand, is dead easy, unless you are a complete idiot. Oh …. right, I see the problem you face, jb.

      Seriously, why don’t you give it away? I appreciate it’s the start of your shift and tsmithfield deserves a rest, but read the comments above. You can’t convince anyone intelligent that it’s a poorly worded question, so best you comment over at the sewer or whaleoil, where intelligence is not a factor.

      • Lanthanide 17.1.1

        “You can’t convince anyone intelligent that it’s a poorly worded question”
        I guess I’m not intelligent, then, because I think it is a poorly worded question, as I have detailed quite laboriously above.

        • mcflock 17.1.1.1

          another phrasing issue there, methinks:

          anyone intelligent might be able to understand how it could be regarded as a “poorly-worded” question, though they might disagree based on their definition of “poorly worded” (e.g. “nonsensical” vs “likely to be misunderstood by the dumbest 20th of the population and thereby mildly distort a survey”).

          My suspicion, however, is that one or two tories commenting here are genuinely confused by intermediate-school level English.

    • Vicky32 17.2

      “by thinking men.”
      Says it all really… Neanderthal!
      Deb

  18. randal 18

    jbanks does thinking men mean men who think like you or people who make up their own minds after scrutinising the evidence.
    and what about thinking women.
    have you considered them or dont they count in your world.

  19. randal 19

    the question on everyones lips is why wasnt john key and his national government fired after 90 days?

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