On Sunday, Bill English let slip that National still intends to take away the work rights of employees of small businesses for the first 90 days of employment. Now, National’s Shane Ardern has spilled the beans on the Nats’ policy to cut the contributions to hundreds of thousands of Kiwis’ Kiwisaver plans.
In the Te Awamutu Courier, Ardern says‘[ Kiwisaver] needs adjusting from the employers’ contribution angle, from one size fits all approach, to allow for pressure on smaller business employers.’ This probably means National would allow small businesses to opt-out of employer contributions. That certainly fits with Kate Wilkinson’s earlier comments about removing the compulsion on employers from Kiwisaver.
700,000 New Zealanders are Kiwisavers, thousands are signing up each day. Over 22% of Kiwis work in businesses with fewer than 20 employees. That’s 160,000 Kiwis, so far, who would lose employer contributions to Kiwisaver under National’s policy.
As with National’s 90-Day No Work Rights Bill, not only would National’s Kiwisaver policy screw over employees of small businesses, it would also screw over small businesses. Who is going to choose to work for a small business if they would face 90 days when they can be fired on the spot for no reason and don’t get any Kiwisaver contributions from their employer?
These are regressive, reactionary policies from National that strike at the heart of our work conditions. No wonder they are trying to keep them as quiet as possible.