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National admits 90 day period not a choice

Written By: - Date published: 10:17 am, August 6th, 2010 - 280 comments
Categories: labour, national, workers' rights - Tags: ,

When National rammed through the first version of the 90 day fire at will law it claimed the period would be a ‘choice’ negotiated fairly between employees and employers.

Those of us know the reality of the workplace pointed out that the employment relationship is not one between equals. The idea that the employee has any choice in the matter is a farce. Employers would simply offer ‘take it or leave it’ contracts and that would be that.

Sure enough, it’s already happening. A quick search of Seek and Trademe Jobs by Darien Fenton turned up six examples of employers stating that “the 90 day trial period will apply” as a pre-condition of employment.

Now if National really believed its rhetoric about free choice then this is something the minister would be quick to crack down on, right? Here’s what Kate Wilkinson said when asked about it in Parliament today:

“Clearly it’s not compulsory for an employee or prospective employee to actually apply for that job.”

So, another lie from National. The 90 day fire at will period isn’t a choice after all, you can be told to take it or leave it when you apply for the job and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Remember that when they try to spin you the same line over selling the fourth week’s annual leave.

[PS – anyone noticed how this job ad gives lie to the claim (unsupported by research of course) that the fire at will period will apply to new jobseekers and the disadvantaged? This role is for an experienced structural engineer for heaven’s sake! Someone who will have to work with ‘low to no supervision’ and have ‘a Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering form Auckland or Canterbury Universities’.]

280 comments on “National admits 90 day period not a choice”

  1. indiana 1

    “after all, you can be told to take it or leave it when you apply for the job and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

    Is that the same if they stated the salary for the role in the ad? Take it or leave it WHEN you aplly or IF you apply?

    • ZB 1.1

      I think the employer should have the choice to offer 90-day fire at will, if and only if, there is an increased remuniration package over and above the going rate for the risk the employee is taking on being left high and dry.

      It was always reasonable for employers to offer ‘trainee’ positions where the company double up their own training to several potential ‘long term’ employees. So they hire more than they need, and so they also would endeavour to leave those employees with a bonus if they were let go (unless let go for some obvious breach of contract).

      But instead of a fair balanced employment market we get the cheap wage economy! 90 day will be expanded to work gangs on agricultural plots and harm our economy as the employees figure out how to harm the crop (to compensate for the low wages hard work).

      Trust is not dictated by a big National Socialist government social interference in the market! Trainee position are good for employers to find workers suited to their businesses and their business model, trainee positions are good for the unemployed because they learn skills, experience work and find out if it suits them. But there are risks also for the employee and the policy of screw the little guy just make it easier for the skilled, able and give it a go types to buy a ticket out of here to OZ. So WTF is Key up to? I mean it harms our economy, for him and National and its media shrills, all to declare that NZ is open for business look how crap we treat our workers! Move your business here because our cheap labour still cost more than yours, and if you were thinking of migrating then think about how much risk you are taking on and then add more because of the WTF stupid government.

      National aren’t short of mixed messaged, but when they do have a strong theme does it always have to be screw the little guy, the rich are gods, and have a nice day if your leaving NZ.

      • Gosman 1.1.1

        How does the 90 Day trial period reduce wages again?

        • Ari

          By depressing seniority, bargaining power, occupying union resources, and generally creating a culture of fear for workers and confidence for employers who are not interested in creating a positive work environment.

        • roger nome

          Gos –

          It’s called “expanding labour supply”. Do i need to start drawing supply and demand curves for you?

          • Gosman

            How does it expand labour supply without also increasing labour demand?

            • roger nome

              FFS Gos – we’ve got 7% unemployment. Use your brain for a change.

              • Gosman

                Ummm…. nice try at avoiding the question.

                Please tell me how this law is supposedly meant to lead to an increase in labour supply without also having a corresponding increase in labour demand?

                No wonder people on the left can’t understand how the market economy works and keep trying to stuff it up with bizarre statist interventions.

                • roger nome

                  Gos – there’s already an excess supply of labour in most industries. i.e. there are way more people than jobs. Making the excess greater by bringing otherwise unemployable people into the labour market does not create more jobs (there’s already an excesss) therefore it does nothing to create more demand for labour.

                  • Gosman

                    You still haven’t answered the question.

                    How will this proposed change to employment law lead to an increase in labour supply without a corresponding increase in labour demand?

                    Seems quite a straightforward question to me. Why are you having so much difficulty in answering it?

                    • roger nome

                      Gos – lowering the price of labour doesn’t necessarily mean more jobs. It means slightly lower operating costs. Demand for labour is driven primarliy by demand for products and services. This is why small to moderate changes in the minimum wage have no significant impact on unemployment.


                      Just another example of market theory being trumped by reality.

                    • roger nome

                      In fact you could find that the 90 day law decreases demand for labour because lower wages mean less demand for goods and services in the economy. When you apply downward pressure on the primary drivers of demand, you’ll almost certainly decrease demand.

                      So this law will probably do exactly the opposite of what National are claiming. They are bereft of intellectual talent and/or disingenuous. Take your pick.

                    • Gosman


                      Be very careful Roger nome. You are stretching a very long bow there.

                      Equally I could argue that the stimulating effects of the policy will lead to higher profits and therefore more capital expenditure which flows into increased capacity and demand for more jobs.

                      However that wasn’t the answer to my question was it?

                      Let me reiterate it once again.

                      How will this proposed change to employment law lead to an increase in labour supply without a corresponding increase in labour demand?

                      Don’t rush with the answer this time. Think about it for more than a few seconds.

                    • roger nome

                      I’ve demonstrated that lowering the price of labour will not not necessarily increase aggregate demand for labour. It’s established in the econometric literature. What more do you want?

                    • Gosman

                      I didn’t ask you about costs and benefits of lowering the cost of labour though did I?

                      I asked you how the specific policy involving the 90 day trial period is supposed to lead to an increase in the labour supply without a corresponding increase in the demand for that labour.

                      All I have got from you in return is you trying furiously to change the topic to something you feel more comfortable answering.

                    • roger nome

                      Well gos – that’s an unnecessarily turgid concession. I’m arguing that the main purpoted benefit of National’s law (more jobs) is not demonstrable. You haven’t argued against that. Your argument does however stand (in an annalytically semantic kind of way).

                      But answer a question for me. If you as a farmer, were offered a variety of corn that produces 5% higher growth levels, but with a weekness to pests meaning that 10% of the crop was lost every year, ceteris paribus, would you choose to use it?

                      In other words, if the costs of a law clearly outwiegh its benefit, then it’s a bad law.

                    • Gosman

                      Thanks for the concession.

                      As for your farming related question I have no idea. Is it a trick question?

                      Okay, how about I answer – No, I would not choose to use said agricultural product.

                      I haven’t seen any cost benefit analysis on the proposed changes though.

                      Where do you get your figures from that it will have more costs than benefits?

                    • roger nome

                      Well? You can’t demostrate that the law will lead to an aggregate increase in job levels, so what good is the damn thing then?

                    • roger nome

                      That’s just the problem. National can’t find a shred of credible research to support its claim. The econometric studies that are available clearly don’t support thier claims, so they’re stuck with a bogus slogan “more jobs”. Policy by slogan. Great huh?

                    • Gosman

                      It is a right wing policy that is an extension of their election campaign pledge in this area.

                      Just as I’d expect Labour to be promoting left wing policies that are beneficial to Unions when they next get back into power, even though I don’t think there is any conclusive evidence that increasing the power of Unions leads to a better outcome economically.

                      There is certainly evidence and logic that suggests that the policy will make it more attractive for employers to employ people. Whether you think this is an overall benefit to the economy or not is a matter of individual political viewpoint isn’t it.

                    • infused

                      Good discussion

        • ZB

          Because when you accept a contract for employment under the 90 day rule you expect a lower wage in return for less loyalty to the employer. Given lower numbers of young workers its going to be harder to retain them in the future and so the 90 day rule only works in burger flipping jobs where little addition skill is required and loyalty is not an expectation. The bosses son gets a higher starting salary (or knows they will inherit the business) and so has a loyalty bonus. Its the real world where a trainee fruit picker who can live off the dole decides to move to the back of beyond when work appears fro a few months of the year and then spend the rest of the year on the dole. The real world where the unemployed aren’t changeable wiggets and don’t know the bargain they are agreeing to.

          Businesses who use the 90 day rule will find more people boycotting them. This will also drive down wages since the bosses will cut wages to keep profits up (or else get fired themselves).

      • Gosman 1.1.2

        “… harm our economy as the employees figure out how to harm the crop (to compensate for the low wages hard work).”

        So you’re saying workers will decide that because they voluntarily took a job they will then then decide to deliberately cause their employer loss because they aren’t happy with the job that they voluntarily took???

        How petulent is that? It is lucky then that the employer will be shortly able to get rid of those types of workers within 90 days. Who wants someone who thinks and acts like that working for you.

        • loota

          A single employee can easily cost an employer fifty or a hundred thousand in damages, it can happen in a split second and after all, accidents do happen. *Shrug*

          Who wants someone who thinks and acts like that working for you.

          Mate, chances are if they are any good at doing it they are actually senior management or CEO material.

          And just remember

          “We cook your meals, we teach your kids, we test your blood, we guard you while you sleep, do NOT frak with us*”.

          *Apologies to Fight Club

          • Gosman

            What a childish and petulant way of thinking.

            • Macro

              And forcing a “fire at will” clause isn’t???

            • Puddleglum


              One of my pet hates is the assertion of the ethical and developmental superiority of the kind of ultra-rationalist ideal of human conduct that was spawned by the Enlightenment, and ever since has been used as a bludgeon over those attempting to resist exploitation (e.g., women being called hysterical and emotional; protesters being accused of that great sin, ‘irrationality’, etc.).

              That ideal had its clearest exposition in Smith’s notion of markets and has toxically blossomed into the assumptions about human activity embodied in neo-classical economic theory. This logical model has always been asserted against a psychological and social model of human conduct (i.e., against a scientific, naturalist account of human behaviour). Fine if it’s restricted to theoretical modelling, utterly ideological, inhuman and poisonous when it infiltrates into policy.

              Let me take the current example to show what I mean. On the one hand you have the self-styled calm rationalists claiming that workers who signed up for a job should honour that contract and receive the pay they agreed to. So simple and ethically clear.

              On the other hand, you have the realists who understand what people are in their psychological and social entirety, can empathise with the feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness that lead someone to accept a poorly paid job and/or one with insulting conditions that demean and deny their humanity as autonomous beings and can see how people’s minds are played around with from cradle to grave by media, advertising, etc..

              When understood in the whole, the idea that someone might sabotage their employer’s workplace does not seem ‘childish and petulant’. Instead, it seems just what it is – ill-directed revenge and probably anger and malice that arises out of the powerless and degrading lives so many of us end up leading in this anthro-toxic soup we call modern consumer capitalist society.

              Try travelling on a bus in winter, in the early-morning dark, at 6:00am and notice who your co-passengers are: Mostly hooded, silent young men going to shit jobs for little pay, for the privilege of being bossed about. To sit on one of those buses is to have your heart assaulted by the slow, seeping misery that their lives emit.

              But I guess that requires having a heart rather than some adolescent reverence for rationality. Yes, ‘adolescent’ – there’s nothing adult about that view of how people ‘should’ act and definitely not about asserting it as the final arbiter of human behaviour.

              • Gosman

                What bus do you catch in the morning???

                Are you sure it isn’t the one taking the people on PD or having to do court dictated community service to work.

                • Zorr

                  I used to be one of those people on that bus that Puddleglum describes, and I know of many still living that life where even the earliest bus is too late to get you to the job as early as the employer wishes.

                • felix

                  It’s on the real world bus route Gosman. It doesn’t stop near your place.

                • Galeandra

                  Don’t be such an arogant shite. Your little learning, apparantly of the “economic” kind, is obviously no substitute for a proper education. Take the phrase ‘get a life’ to heart. NZ is full of people who get poor pay to stay up late at night and wipe office windows, or your type’s parents’ bums.

          • Joshua

            Remember that employees are earning money,

            Remember it cost the company to get the employees making money,

            Why should the employer have to spend that money training and making the employee profitable if the employee doesn’t give the company the best to there professional ability? (I consider that the people that are sweeping the road just as professional at what they do than someone sitting in a office shuffling paper)

            Why should the employer take a risk to have a employee who has an attitude you talk about above loota?

            Also the 90 day bill will enable employers to take the risks in employing staff without the risk they will end up with a dud, just costing them money. So it enables the companies to expand and create more jobs for the unemployed, hopefully they take up the positions created.

            • loota

              Time for employees to have a 90 day right to walk away from a bad employer or a bad manager.

              Why should the employer take a risk to have a employee who has an attitude you talk about above loota?

              Why should an employee take shite from a bad manager or a bad employer?

              So it enables the companies to expand and create more jobs for the unemployed, hopefully they take up the positions created.

              Employers only need an extra pairs of hands when they have extra works orders or extra customer orders to fullfil. The 90 day right to fire is not going to create a single extra works order for the factory or a single extra customer order for the retailer.

              No extra orders therefore no extra jobs, the Right wing rationale for the 90 day right to fire is codswallop.

              • Joshua

                “Why should an employee take shite from a bad manager or a bad employer?” – They Shouldn’t, The law doesn’t stop you from resigning from a bad employer, it just stops you from firing a bad employee.

                “Employers only need an extra pairs of hands when they have extra works orders or extra customer orders to fullfil. The 90 day right to fire is not going to create a single extra works order for the factory or a single extra customer order for the retailer.

                No extra orders therefore no extra jobs, the Right wing rationale for the 90 day right to fire is codswallop” – spoken clearly from someone who has not had the responsibility of retaining and keeping employed staff, one bad staff member can cause the rest to suffer.

      • jack 1.1.3

        Totally agreed, most young kiwis have horrible work ethics,.. I hire older ones, and frankly I’m feed up with anyone younger than 35.

        As for nationals, john key knows a lot of people, after merrill lynch… that’s the ONLY reason he got in. Guess you should know that.

  2. zimmer 2

    Where is the problem Teddy? Do you think this company will hire and fire 89 days later if the person works out and go thru the whole process again & again?
    Also, if the person does not work out they can hire another person who may be more suited.
    Companies should not have to carry useless people who do not contribute enough should they? This is a private company not a Social Welfare Office. As long as they doing everything by the law so what?
    4 weeks annual leave – not into individual choice are you Teddy. The fist of the union must prevail like the fist of communism.

    • Roger 2.1

      The problem exists in that they could hire someone with the best intentions. The person that the new staff member reports to may or may not be the person that does the recruitment. The person that the new staff member reports to may have inadequate performance management ability and fail to train or communicate expectations. The new employee runs the risk of being sacked because the person they report to decided to discriminate against them, or there was a personality issue. It could be that failure to communicate expectations and train accordingly meant that the new employee was doing what they reasonably though the job was but was told that they are no longer required and don’t understand why. The lack of understanding what went wrong makes the new employee look and feel stupid. They have a blot on their work history and personally suffer the full consequences for their bosses shortcomings. The next job they go for they are asked why they failed to see out a trial period and have to come up with fictional answers because they were not told. Even without bad intentions, that is where the problem is.

    • marsman 2.2

      The fist of the Business Round Table ( a union!) is prevailing in NZ.

      • loota 2.2.1

        Yeah wait until they meet up against the punching power of the workers’ unions lol

        “With one fist of iron, another of steel, if the right one doesn’t get you the left one will”

        NAT has bought a big frakkin fight with just ~12 months to general elections. Great stuff.

        • Joshua

          loota – You talking about the same Unions with support of the Labour Party, single handedly destroyed our manufacturing industry? We lost so many jobs in this industry just before the recession, I’d hate them to have any more power than they already do. Plus in the manufacturing industry they lost many members through there own actions.

          • Rob

            But its ok , unemployment as we have been told remained low under labour, its just that we transfered a load of high value manufacturing roles into coffee makers, burger flippers and appliance retailers.

          • felix

            You talking about the same Unions with support of the Labour Party, single handedly destroyed our manufacturing industry?

            The workers destroyed the manufacturing industry – ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

            Most here seem to think you’re a fucking idiot, Josh, but I get your sense of humour. It’s like a parody of a right-wing teenager, no? Keep it up.

            • Joshua

              So your not going to argue the point? Why, oh wait yea cause you can’t, but I’ll answer your question out of sympathy.

              “The workers destroyed the manufacturing industry ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” – no the Unions, not all workers are part of the Union, and the Unions have representatives that argue on their members behalf, which I found out in the Manufacturing Industry, their own members didn’t always agree, but followed suit because that was what the Union wanted.

              “Most here seem to think you’re a fucking idiot, Josh, but I get your sense of humour. It’s like a parody of a right-wing teenager, no? Keep it up.” – Only because I’m disagreeing with them, on this site some of the people are not arguing the point rather than National put it in so it’s wrong. I’m simply commenting on the issue at hand. Also no, I am a working employee, in fact the position mentioned above would be one I would consider if I weren’t already employed. But good guess, oh yes I also don’t mind the 90day trail period as I don’t mind proving myself.

              • felix

                Unions are workers. Only right-wing propagandists pretend otherwise and only morons like you believe otherwise.

                As for you “arguing the point” – you already admitted yesterday that you see no point in extending the 90 day law to all companies. You’ve been arguing all along for something you don’t see any point in. Idiot.

                • Joshua

                  Hahaha come on mate I do see the point as I explained also I agree Unions are supposed to be workers, however they are managed by the Union Representative which is their full time job, who organizes meetings and is supposed to listen to the concerns of its members. However now days they seem to go straight to the employer demand higher wage etc, with out negotiation with it’s members in the middle of the recession. If it negotiated with it’s members, they would of told the union how much work load has dropped and said they were lucky to keep their job. Then the company goes down cause it couldn’t meet Union needs and the Union threatened protest action. How did I come up with this story? It happened in my mates workplace, they were unemployed for months after.

                  • loota

                    Uh…unions don’t work like that at all, regardless of your ‘mates story’.

                    Your mate’s company name or it didn’t happen. The company already ‘went down’ according to your story, so name it and we can check.

                  • felix

                    As soon as that old chestnut about “unions forcing workers to do this or that against their will” gets trotted out you know for sure that the writer has either

                    A) no experience with unions in any way shape or form, or

                    B) a vested interest in misinforming others.

                    Or both I suppose.

    • Descendant Of Smith 2.3

      In response to Zimmer’s comment.

      And therein lies part of the problem.

      Young people are exactly that – young people. Far too many employers have this unrealistic expectation that they will be well-behaved, do and I say not as I do, won’t challenge authority, have the experience and skills of a 40 year old, have the maturity of a 30 year old and so on.

      They don’t and they won’t.

      The comment about not being a Social Welfare office sums up that crap attitude – somehow the state has the responsibility for training and instilling in these young people work ethics and skills and knowledge – when those things can be mainly gained in the work place.

      At the same time the state is not to employ these people an instill this in them – a strong factor in NZ through the 50’s to the late 70’s – they are supposed to develop this through osmosis.

      I’m pleased there are good employers out there who do take the time and effort to invest and upskill and train young people – but more and more they are being squeezed out by those firms who do not, those firms who just want cannon fodder for short-term profit and force those good employers to compete with their low wages and lack of investment.

      The unwillingness of employers to invest in their staff, their unwillingness to see that they have a responsibility to build a skilled trained workforce,

  3. Anthony C 3

    Who didn’t see this coming.

    Also their idea of unjustified dismissal cases as just being a fun money game for the employee to play is so demented it’s not funny. I went through this process after an owner/employer actually went crazy, the whole process was a nightmare, and although in my favour, ruined my confidence for years as I was still wee young thing like many of the people who will be fired with for no good reason under this law.

    Anyone who has been fired for no fault of their own knows how horrible it is and how it can have a lasting effect on you and your relationship with employers in general, NACT have legislated to allow this. Like I said demented.

    Erasing empathy must be some sort of initiation for National MPs

    • Jasper 3.1

      Damn straight skippy. I’m going through the same thing as well, but in this instance, the employer is swearing black and blue they weren’t my employer and so didn’t have to consult with me when “disestablishing” my position.
      Their excuse? They didn’t pay the wages, but provided those funds to a third party to take care of the payroll functions.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1.1

        Payroll processing does not make them the ’employer’

        Check your employment contract , you must have one , as its offence for them to hire you without one.
        This will obviously show the name of the employer and your name .

        Best of luck but getting them to comply with basic employment law can be a nightmare as they know they can get away with a lot.

        Ps You may have a case for constructive dismissal, so get that ball rolling as its one of the last ways to make them pay if they screw up their procedures ( but changing this is Wilkinsons next mission)

        • Jasper

          Thanks GWWNZ – it’s been a 14 month process to get it to the ERA. It’s a long story, but short version is that old IEA expired (was fixed term) no new IEA done = permanent employee (for old organisation)

          Then new organisation took over all responsibilities. 7 weeks into new management and new structure they undertook “consultation” through the old employer (who was employing me on the new entities behalf before they became a legal entity)
          Yet, the new entity was already directing me and managing my work.

          They know they screwed up and are trying all manner of excuses to worm out of paying.

          Unjustified dismissal basically.

          • Joshua

            Still if your contract is still under the old management, the old management is your employer, and the matter must be taken through them, if they have liquidated than you may have to fight to get compensated. These things you should clear up when companies are transitioning, before the process starts, other-wise in your case you don’t have a contract therefore not actually unjustified.

  4. Gosman 4

    Ummmm… they have a choice.

    Apply for that job or apply for another.

    Businesses are not charities for employees.

    I have spoken with a number of business owners who feel this change is positive and makes it more likely they will employ people in future.

    You do like businesses employing people don’t you? I hear it lowers the unemployment rate which some of you bang on about a lot of the time.

    • Armchair Critic 4.1

      Ummmm they have a choice
      They do have a choice. A quick search brings up a salary range of $140k to $160k in Australia, for structural engineers with similar experience. That’ll be $175k to $200k in NZ dollars.
      So the choice could be stay in NZ or move to Australia.
      Yet I recall National promising to stem the flow of people’s kids going overseas. Typical National, say one thing, do another.

    • Puddleglum 4.2

      Always this mixed message:

      On the one hand we’re told we have to pander and pamper employers because they apparently are only in business to provide us all with jobs – certainly that’s all they mention when they’re asked their opinion of economic and industrial relations policy.

      On the other hand, they’re “not charities for employees”.

      Which is it then? Are they simply innovating away just to create jobs for us or is there some other motive? I wonder …

      People – like all animals – are perfectly capable of creating their own ‘work’ – they don’t need ’employers’ to make it for them except, that is, in an economic and social system that has taken away the knowledge and structural possibility for so many of creating and controlling their own work, individually or collectively.

    • Jenny 4.3


      Businesses are not charities for employees.

      So for you Gosman.

      Here it is, some good news that will chill the cockles of your capitalist heart.

      The Independent/UK

      Li was known to the company by his ID number: F3839667. He stood at a whirring line all day, every day, making the same tiny mechanical motion with his wrist, for 20p an hour. According to his family, sometimes his shifts lasted for 24 hours; sometimes they stretched to 35. If he had tried to form a free trade union to change these practices, he would have been imprisoned for 12 years. On the night of 27 May, after yet another marathon-shift, Li dropped dead.

  5. Fisiani 5

    No one is forced to apply for this job. That would be what no choice means.
    This is simply an employer now unemcumbered by the horrendously expensive risk of an inappropriate hire daring to offer a well paying job. The employer offers work under the terms and conditions that they need within the laws of the land. Any decent qualified worker would readily jump at this chance to prove themself and gain permanent employment with full rights. I bet they get lots and lots of applicants who realise that this is a great way to employment.
    Please, please fight this all the way to 2011. The 90 day right to prove yourself is a sure vote winner for National

    • Roger 5.1

      “Any decent qualified worker would readily jump at this chance to prove themself and gain permanent employment with full rights. I bet they get lots and lots of applicants who realise that this is a great way to employment”

      Employers hire people because they need them to operate their business, not just because a trial period exists. This job would have existed anyway so the applicants would actually be thinking that without the trial period would have been a much better way of getting employed.

      • Fisiani 5.1.1

        In the trial of small businesses 40% gave employment directly because of the 90 day rule. The 90 day right to prove yourself is a job generator and has proved to be so for many years in Australia, UK and many other countries.

        • Roger

          Asking small business owners about something that obviously benefits them will create the possibility that they might overstate it’s influence to ensure that they keep the rule in their favour. It is such a job generator in the UK that their unemployment is at 7.2%, and the US at 10.2%. If 40% of small businesses really employed people directly because of the 90 day rule we would have seen a reduction in unemployment over the last months but we have not.

          • Gosman

            Wow! so you admit this might make it easier for SME???

            Nice concession there.

            • Roger

              It’s a concession I readily make considering that the original argument is that the outcome of the 90 day bill would be more jobs created, not allowing businesses to have things easier by cutting corners on HR practice.

      • Joshua 5.1.2

        “Employers hire people because they need them to operate their business, not just because a trial period exists. This job would have existed anyway so the applicants would actually be thinking that without the trial period would have been a much better way of getting employed.” – Employers now however do have the option to either downsize or expand, however taking on these employees are huge costs, and the risks are high, a general rule is it takes at least 6months of productive work to pay off the initial investment. If companies are able to dismiss people once they know they are not productive, it lowers the risk, therefore makes expanding or replacing positions more viable.

    • The Voice of Reason 5.2

      “No one is forced to apply for this job. That would be what no choice means.”

      Unless you are unemployed, Fisi. If you are on the Unemployment Benefit and turn down this job, your benefit will be under immediate threat. So, no choice, there, eh?

      Now that you know that, no doubt you are going to vehemently oppose this loss of personal rights and freedoms.

      • Fisiani 5.2.1

        If you were an unemployed civil engineer you would turn down this job simply because of a 90 day right to prove yourself clause.? Are you serious?

        • Gosman

          Apparently so. Certain people on the left believe principles like this are more important than actual paid employment. Fair enough, it is their free right to refuse.

          • Locus

            Qualified civil engineer applying for a job vs. an unemployed unskilled worker applying for a job? Hmm not quite apples with apples. As for the kind of employer weilding the power of ‘pre 90 day fire at will’ they definitely aren’t the same as those looking for qualified engineers. Typically the employers most likely to be (ab)using this ‘new’ power will be using it to ditch a worker who they don’t like or who has pissed them off and who has no power to fight back. This is the crux of the argument – the weakest are most likely to get dicked – by the nastiest..

            • Joshua

              True, thats the first problem with this article, they are using an example of a qualified engineer, if you are a qualified engineer today, you would find it hard to be unemployed, there is still a shortage.

              But again I still don’t see why an employer is going to make the significant investment, that they need to make taking on the employees just to let them go after 90days. That is just a cost to the company so don’t see how it could be abused. The only reason you would be let go under the 90day rule is, your not being productive, or your work ethics need to be addressed, in any case you would most likely not have even got the chance if that 90day period wasn’t in place.

              • Locus

                If that were the case, the employer, like all current good employers, would apply the existing labour law and give the employee a formal warning. The point of this change in legislation is simply to put fear into new employees so that they’ll do whatever any boss demands of them, and if they complain about something unreasonable the boss can simply give them the flick. As for the investment involved in employing someone… if you’re a qualified engineer then maybe the cost of advertising and recruitment is high, but if you’re filling an unskilled position and there’s 20 more applicants lined up at the door, the employer isn’t paying a penny for recruitment.

    • roger nome 5.3

      Fis – a clayton’s choice is not a real choice.

    • mcflock 5.4

      years ago when I was on the dole, they had a rule: if my caseworker suggested I apply for a job and I refused, I’d lose my sole source of minimal income for six months.

      Felt like force to me.

    • Jenny 5.5

      Great follow up Fisiani.

      Free Market Rules! Yeah

      capcha – desperate

  6. Bill 6

    But if you are a beneficiary and you refuse to apply for a job because the employer is stipulating that a 90 day trial period will apply, then you’ll lose your fucking benefit if WINZ get wind of the matter.

    Isn’t that compulsion in Wilkinson’s world?

    • Gosman 6.1

      I expect tens of thousands of beneficiaries will be staving to death as a result of this change then.

      If the beneficiary doesn’t want a job with a 90 day trial period they can’t be that keen on getting work.

      • felix 6.1.1

        So you agree with it being compulsory for those on benefits.

        • Gosman

          It isn’t compulsory. Just like a wage rate isn’t set in concrete. You have the ability to negotiate with the employer what wage rate you are getting. You just can’t force the employer to give you more than they are willing to beyond the minimum wage.

          • mcflock

            have you ever tried negotiating with Work&Income when it comes to not applying for a job you think is unsuitable but the caseworker is trying to fill?

            It IS compulsory.

        • Joshua

          No it’s not compulsory, you will loose your benefit as you should, but you can still decline the position, just no dole.

    • Fisiani 6.2

      Unemployment benefit is available to those people who are unable to find a job.
      Unemplyment benefit is not available to people do do not want to work.

    • Joshua 6.3

      And so you should, why should I the taxpayer, be paying you for sitting around doing jack all to help society, when you are turning down opportunities to obtain a job. The benefit is there for people who truly need it, not for people to abuse it, if you declined an opportunity because of that then you are definitely abusing it.

      • felix 6.3.1

        Workers should have certain minimum rights Josh. One of those is the right not to be fired without reason.

        If you want to take away that right then you can fucking well pay the cost of it including whatever benefits those affected require to live.

        • Joshua

          So what your saying is, the workers have certain minimum rights to not get fired within 90 days without reason but the empolyer does not have the right to give a worker the chance to prove he is right for the company. Cause he wouldn’t of had that chance if it weren’t for that trail period.

          Also what about the employers rights, seen they are the one’s putting their investment, their money on the line.

          • Armchair Critic

            So what your saying is,
            Take care, Joshua, putting words into people’s mouths is not good behaviour.
            …the workers have certain minimum rights to not get fired within 90 days without reason…
            but the empolyer does not have the right to give a worker the chance to prove he is right for the company.
            No, the employer has the right. They can exercise the right by
            (1) interviewing the prospective employee,
            (2) checking their references,
            (3) putting them on a fixed term contract, or
            (4) using the ability to have a trial period that already exists under current legislation.
            Cause he wouldn’t of had that chance if it weren’t for that trail period.
            Rubbish. Would the firm advertising for the senior structural engineer not be hiring without the 90 day period? I doubt it, being a small consultancy they will only be advertising because they have more work than their current staff can complete, and don’t want to let their clients down. They most likely would have had to hire, whether there was a 90 day trial or not.
            Any evidence that businesses are hiring based solely on the existence of the 90 day trial period? Links, please. And don’t bother linking to the bullshit that was quoted in parliament over the last couple of weeks, the data were totally unreliable.
            Also what about the employers rights, seen they are the one’s putting their investment, their money on the line.
            What about them? They have rights by the bucket load. The ability (it is not a right) to dismiss employees without giving a reason is a step back to the 19th century and any half decent employer would not use it.

            • Joshua

              “They have rights by the bucket load.” – links please, cause all the laws are to protect the employee, the laws that are there to protect the employer are limited and have to be fought out at court.

              “No, the employer has the right. They can exercise the right by
              (1) interviewing the prospective employee,
              (2) checking their references,”
              Yes the employer has this limited right which can be bluffed through, Labour party had experience from someone in their imigration department of bluffing through didn’t they,

              “(3) putting them on a fixed term contract, or
              (4) using the ability to have a trial period that already exists under current legislation.” Not as clear cut for the employee, and actually less beneficial for the employee in this situation. But I accept this is the case, I just don’t believe as good of solution as the one being provided.

              Hadn’t had the chance, lots of examples but no paper to back-up, cause no company has the time to sit around and make reports like governments do, each time they make a decision. So none that would convince you, not going to waste my time.

  7. roger nome 7

    This is similar to the PR lie that National trotted out to justify its last full-scale attack on workers. They claimed that the Employment Contracts Act (1991) would allow “freedom of choice” for employers and employees to arrive at their own agreement, without the involvement of the evil, trouble causing unions (i.e. organisations that ordinary people form).

    Of course, in practice all it meant was “because National collapsed the economy by slashing state spending, unemployment is 10 %, take the job with its miserable pay and conditions or you can try your luck on the bread-crumbs offered by the dole” (National decided on what the dole should be by taking what a team of nutritionists calculated to be the bare minimum a person can get by on and still be healthy, then they cut it by a third). Not really a choice, unless you consider malnutrition an option.

    You can read all about it starting at page 167 in the following link:


    Anyone else feeling like it’s groundhog day?

    • scrubone 7.1

      (National decided on what the dole should be by taking what a team of nutritionists calculated to be the bare minimum a person can get by on and still be healthy, then they cut it by a third).

      I’d be interested to know when Labour increased the dole from the level (inflation adjusted) set by National.

      • Descendant Of Smith 7.1.1

        They should have reinstated the $20-00 cut on benefits as well as on NZS and pox on them for not doing so.

        The reinstatement of that $20-00 should be a fundamental part of their policy – put it back!

        So should removing youth rates of benefit.

  8. Bill 8

    If 90 day trials are to by agreement between employees and employers and the employer is demanding acquiescence from non-employees in job advertisements…or even in interviews.. then aren’t employers breaking the law?

    • Gosman 8.1


      I’m sorry but when did advertising conditions of employment constitute breaking the law?

      • ghostwhowalksnz 8.1.1

        What you can advertise is restricted.
        They cant say MALE KIWI structural engineer UNDER 40 , CHRISTIAN & MARRIED

        gee thats a long list.
        Considering they can put the 90 day rule , as an option, in their ‘offer’, which is negotiable like salary , work days ect

        • Gosman

          Yeah isn’t it a pity that government has interfered so much in the free rights of people to decide who, or who not, they wish to have working for them?

          I’ve seen salary specified on job adverts before so don’t see this as a problem.

          • Roger

            How does the lack of a trial period impede on the free rights of people to decide who to or not to have working for them. Without a trial period they should be able to dismiss someone by following the correct process if there is a real performance issue.

            • Gosman

              I have spoken to a couple of employers about this. One of them has stated that they reduced their workforce from five to only two because of the hassle it took to manage employee performance. He stated that the 90 Day trial period would encourage him to think about employing more staff again.

              Admittedly this is anecdotal but the ideas expressed are behind why people on the Right of the spectrum think this is a good thing.

              • mcflock

                Yeah, because following a fair and reasonable process is such a hassle…

                • Gosman

                  Apparently enough for three positions to no longer be available for people who want jobs.

                  • mcflock

                    …and we’re back into the “should employees pay for the fact that incompetent managers find basic HR skills too difficult” debate…

                    • Gosman

                      You seem to have this idea that employees have a right to a job rather than it is the employer who should have the right to decide whether someone should be employed or not.

                    • mcflock

                      No – I simply believe that once they agree to do a particular job, an employee has a right to clear performance criteria, reasonable training to become familiar with the workplace and procedures that must be followed to do the job, fair warning if their performance is perceived as sub-par, and clear guidance as to how they can recover the situation.

                      It’s not that difficult, really.

                    • Joshua

                      And when you employ someone, and fairly dismiss them, but still have to go to court, spending tens of thousands of dollars on lawyer’s and general court fee’s, to prove you are in the right, those huge costs are apart of the risk we are eliminating, these costs can and have caused small businesses to shut down, putting up to 10 other employees out of work because of one selfish employee.

                    • felix

                      You live in a fantasy.

                      The situation you describe does not result from a “fair dismissal”.

                    • Joshua

                      Well that is said from experience not made up in my head. It was a company I worked for.

                      Your the one living in fantasy world, if you can’t see what happens in your own country.

                    • felix

                      Name it.

                • scrubone

                  Unfortunately, if you deviate one iota from what the law considers “fair and reasonable” you’re in a world of hurt. So yes, it’s a serious hassle.

                  • loota

                    Sob! Being fair and reasonable is so much hassle!

                    Hmmmmm I don’t see it stopping the NATs from downsizing the public service.

                    One of them has stated that they reduced their workforce from five to only two because of the hassle it took to manage employee performance.

                    The “hassle” to manage employee performance? Lolz. Managing subordinate performance is a central role of any manager. With this attitude, no wonder those ‘managers’ you talked to are shite.

                    Give them robot arms to manage instead, much easier.

                    Did you ever stop to look at the logic of your sentence? Maybe they went down from 5 people to 2 people because they didn’t have enough work for five people?

                    How is the 90 day law going to give them work for five people?

                    Lolz no idea of business.

                    • Gosman

                      They are not simply managers. They are small to medium business owners.

                      But if you want to denigrate them and downplay their genuine issues I suppose that is fine. I mean why do we need small and medium businesses anyway?

                    • mcflock

                      Management is part of being an SME owner.

                      If their HR management skills are so sub-par they under-employ staff to avoid “hassles”, then how else are their skills deficiencies harming their business? Can they tell if their accountant is making tax errors? Are their company procedures and workflow plans causing bottlenecks or excessive inventory costs?

                      If a shit manager is having difficulty, it is the manager who needs to upskill. HR issues are just the most obvious indicator of somebody who is in over their head and needs to either upskill or buy in specialist assistance.

                    • Gosman

                      I know, how about you and all your leftist mates round up all these SME owners and ‘re-educate’ them in leftist camps where they will learn the mantra of good business practice as defined by the left wing.

                      Heck while you’re at it perhaps it would be better just to install the workers as the managers and owners of these businesses instead. The evil owners are just parasites anyway and have no idea what they are doing, not like the heroic working class yadda yadda yadda.

                    • mcflock

                      If I lose my job because the manager is a an idiot, I’d have to turn up to a bullshit W&I seminar to qualify for the dole.

                      I’d much rather I keep my job because the manager went to a seminar to learn how to be a fair and reasonable human being who acts in good faith.

                    • Gosman

                      I was joking you do realise?

                      You read some scary stuff here sometimes.

                    • mcflock

                      well, you really can freely choose to go read kiwiblog instead…

                    • Joshua

                      It’s not the hassle but the costs involved, in big businesses the manage employee people to manage employee performances, in medium, small companies this cost is not able to be factored in, as otherwise they wouldn’t cover these costs and the business wouldn’t exist.

                      Then even if you have these processes in place, it still costs for the court process where you have to fight your case just to prove your right, your time, your lawyer and your court fee’s do not get refunded and can cost ten of thousands of dollars. It has put businesses out of business, affecting all the employees you were trying to protect because of one individual.

                    • McFlock

                      Joshua, why is competent performance management the only area where a small business owner is not expected to know what they’re doing?

                      The old “I couldn’t afford to pay someone to do it properly” is not an excuse in the areas of occupational hazards, filing incorrect company returns, selling defective products, marketing illegally, and so on. Managing employees is a basic skill that needs to be performed properly, otherwise it DOES incur massive costs.

                      And the PGs I’ve seen were the last straw in long-running sagas of workplace abuse. The legal action itself is probably the smallest cost – the real problem for incompetent managers is that the competent staff get fed up and get work elsewhere. This can be avoided by being a halfway decent HR manager.

                    • Joshua

                      Sorry I have worded the argument wrong, the employers manage their staff, they do it everyday, however they don’t have the funds for someone to stand over staff making sure everything they do is right, and note everything that has been done wrong on a record, it’s done by word of mouth. You try and find a business owner who has time to sit and write disciplinary letters everyday, they don’t cause they are out there trying to find work, write up invoices etc.

                      The fact is you have to trust certain staff, and that is what bites you in the arse, but I guess you are right, these employers should just shut-up shop and send the workers into the gutter.

                    • McFlock

                      1: a good manager won’t have to write disciplinary letters “every day”. Most things wouldn’t get that far. Hell, if even a bad manager is writing disciplinary letters “every day” they’re seriously screwing up in employment decisions. An SME is what, 20-odd staff? And you’re talking daily formal disciplinary action???

                      2: a good manager won’t write out disciplinary letters from scratch each and every time. A good manager gets a template from their employment lawyer and fills in the details each time, so that all requirements are followed (e.g. clarifying the nature of the misconduct and the level of warning, the area of the employment agreement said behaviour contravenes, etc).

                      3:You have no idea what you are talking about.

          • ghostwhowalksnz

            Oh yeah .
            Salary like XXXX will apply ??
            You’re making shit up and you know it

            • Gosman

              Ummmm…. no but it states stuff like either $20 per hour or Salary of $80 K or something similar. It gives the prospective employee an idea of what the employer is expecting to pay them but if they have something more to offer then there is nothing stopping them negotiating a better deal.

              • loota

                Wait until mid level professionals see jobs they are interested in being affected by this law.

                National is gaining a new class of enemies.

                Long may they keep it up!

                • Gosman

                  You mean like they are in places like the UK?

                  Yeah I see mid level professional up in arms in those countries about this issue.

                  Didn’t the last Labour government in the UK get voted out because of this?

                • Joshua

                  mid level professionals are already effected by similar conditions in there contract anyways, I know of engineering firms who put employees on a temporary 6 month contract before giving them there full contract to assess there performances.

                  It’s not going to affect them much at all.

              • ghostwhowalksnz

                So why didn’t it say , $100,000 salary will apply , 6 weeks holiday will apply, hours 9-5 will apply.
                Its because these will be negotiable , as most people expect, while the 90 days will be a condition of even applying for the job, ie they cant negotiate out of it later as its in ‘black and white’ at the start.

                • Gosman

                  You are free to negotiate anything you want pretty much.If you have the desired skills then if the employer really wants you for the position just say you aren’t taking it unless they remove the 90 day clause.

                  • loota

                    OK so new grads are fragged then. School leavers are fragged then. Unskilled workers are fragged then. Tradespeople and common professionals (standard lawyers and accountants) all fragged.

                    Dime a dozen you see. Don’t have any ‘negotiating power’.

                    Oh, Labour must be rubbing its hands at the Govt ham-fistedness of this policy introduction.

                    • Nick C

                      Sure they have negotiating power. The employer needs them as much as they need the employer. They can get togeather with their fellow workers and collectivly bargin.

                      Oh wait, no they cant… http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2010/08/national_and_the_ctu.html

                    • Joshua

                      They are if they think like you, or they can go out and prove themselves.

                    • felix

                      Prove your worth, serf.

                      If it pleases me I might even pay you.

                    • Joshua

                      right felix,

                      You do reliase they do pay you and you should have to earn your way.

                      “OK so new grads are fragged then. School leavers are fragged then. Unskilled workers are fragged then. Tradespeople and common professionals (standard lawyers and accountants) all fragged.” – They don’t have barging power only if there is someone better experienced for the job at hand, in which case they should have to prove themselves a better candidate for the job. It’s giving people like these the opportunity to get a position they otherwise wouldn’t.

                    • felix

                      Hey moron, you already admitted that you see no point in extending the fire at will law to every company so you can stop digging any time you like.

                    • Joshua

                      felix – carm down, I got a great concrete pill you could have, should solve all your problems.

                      But seriously I have justified my stance and admitted nothing of the kind.

                    • felix

                      Nah, you’ve just changed your story. And come Monday you’ll change your handle too.

    • Fisiani 8.2

      Duh! How dare an employer offer terms and conditions to a potential employee.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 8.2.1

        It was the National Party govt who said it was only ‘ by negotiation’.

        Read the the ad Dick head.
        It says 90 trial WILL APPLY

        • Gosman

          I’m sure if someone was attractive enough for the employer they can negotiate this out of the resulting contract. Just as if a advert specified a salary rate of say $20 could be negotiated upwards if the employer really wanted the potential employee.

          • The Voice of Reason

            Jaysus! Your not unemployed yourself are you Gossy? I only ask because with your disfunctional thinking, I reckon you’d be needing some serious assistance to find a suitably mundane, well supervised job, where there’s little chance of you sticking a stubby finger in a light socket or smoking in the chemical bund. Perhaps you’ve joined Morrisey, ‘making Xmas cards with the mentally ill’?

            Either way, you clearly do not understand the nature of employment, particularly the power imbalance in job interviews. I tell you what, how about you go for that job yourself. Send off your CV (careful not to smudge the words, crayons are soooo messy). Add a cover note saying you want the job, are capable of doing it, ready to start Monday, but just want the 90 day clause removed. Let us know how you get on, eh?

            • Gosman

              Yeah, I must remember to apply for the job you are recommending right after I finish my current 9 month well paid per hour contract.

              • Gosman

                Oh, by the way my employment contract doesn’t have a 90 day clause. I believe it is two weeks. Oh no, wait a minute… actually if my employer wants to really get rid of me they can do so without ANY notice period at all.

                Someone HELP me please I’m being exploited terribly!

                • ghostwhowalksnz

                  What bullshit.
                  They cannot get rid of you without cause. ( I presume you haven’t just started)
                  Those are your legal rights which your employer cant change.
                  But national will get rid of this as well.

                  There is no fire at will , like the US where some employers can and do fire the bottom 10% EVERY YEAR.

                  • Gosman

                    Ahhhhh…. quite wrong.

                    In fact the last contract I had I wanted to leave a few weeks before the official end of my contract. When I advised by manager of this fact he got a bit stroppy and I was told that if I wasn’t committed to the project i was working on I should go straight away.

                    I’m surprised you aren’t aware of this stuff.

                    • ghostwhowalksnz

                      So you are a self employed contractor on a fixed term contract . NOT an employee then.

                      Big difference. And I bet you wouldnt take the contract if there was a fire at will provision, most likely they would have to pay your contract out.
                      Hawesby got nearly $8 mill when TVNZ found he was dud for ratings, but he had a fixed term contract

                    • Gosman

                      Depends on your definition of an employee doesn’t it. According to the IRD I could be classified as an employee if I attempted to operate as a company for tax purposes.

                      And no, I wouldn’t be bought out of the remainder of the contract. If the place I work for has no work I can be just let go without any compensation beyond the hours I have worked.

                    • ghostwhowalksnz

                      The truth is out! Dont play games and split hairs. The employer cant fire you as you are your own employer ! H a ha ha ha

            • Jenny

              I reckon Gosman must be unemployed as he seems to have a full time job commenting on this site.

  9. roger nome 9

    This is about National’s compulsive lying aimed at duping working people. You guys are hopeless as trolls.

    • Gosman 9.1

      “…duping working people”


      Yeah, because members of the National party just love duping working people. They hide in bushes holding onto strings attached to $100 notes out in public. Just as poor innocent little working person comes along and bends down to pick up the note they SNATCH it away from them and laugh maniacally.


      (That was an example of the laugh they use BTW).

  10. “Clearly it’s not compulsory for an employee or prospective employee to actually apply for that job.’

    I’m picturing Wilkinson getting up and declaring that obeying the laws of NZ isn’t compulsory, because “clearly it’s not compulsory for a person to live in New Zealand.”

    • QoT 10.1

      Don’t give her ideas!

      I’m reminded of arguments against interracial marriage in the US: “The law doesn’t actually discriminate against you, white-woman-in-love-with-black-man, because you could CHOOSE to marry a white man if you wanted.”

  11. Roger 11

    And now it starts…this will start a destructive chain of events as employers catch on and stipulate that the 90 day period will apply on just about every job advert. Certainly as this practice becomes more common, human resources management will pick up on this and the 90 day rule will become standard practice. This was never about creating more jobs, this was a thinly veiled attack on workers’ rights. Lets make this clear for the RWNJs here:

    -Employers hire people based on need to meet requirements to manage turnover and operate the business, therefore there will NOT be any extra jobs created. Employers will not hire people just because they can offer a trial period. The same jobs would have been available with or without the trial.

    -The idea that people have a choice not to apply for a job that stipulates a trial period is not a real choice. As the practice of stipulation of the trial condition increases there will be no alternative jobs to apply for. Once again there will be no extra jobs created, employers hire based on turnover and costs, not whether or not they can offer a trial period.

    -It will NOT see disadvantaged people gain employment. If a person with a criminal history applies for a job against someone without a conviction, the person without a conviction will get hired regardless of whether or not a trial period can be offered.

    If workers have stronger rights and job security they will have more confidence to spend money that creates turnover and profits for business, then the businesses need to hire more people and unemployment drops, its simple.

  12. tsmithfield 12

    1. People have the free choice to apply for the job under those conditions or not.
    2. There is nothing stopping a good candidate from attempting to negotiate out of the clause if they want to. The advertisment in itself is not a binding contract.

    • Roger 12.1

      In relation to your second point, it is hard enough to communicate how good you are as a candidate to recruiters who do not know you well so negotiation will be very difficult. If there are several good candidates then the job would end up going to the person who accepts the trial period, not the best candidate. Other things that constrain the candidate include financial issues experienced while being unemployed/underemployed which are unsustainable making the candidate willing to accept the trial period even if they don’t want to. But this was never about choice of better outcomes for unemployed, the right don’t care about that.

      • Joshua 12.1.1

        If you don’t have enough experience to be able to negotiate the contract in the first place, then you should be on a trail period. The employer should have the right to see if you are able to do the work required under your contract, and he/she should have the opportunity to see you are able to carry out the required work.

        Why should the employer take the risk if you don’t show the required skills, they would just hire someone who does have those skills over you in the first place, so again you wouldn’t of had the chance if it weren’t because of the 90day trial period would you?

  13. jbanks 13

    Of course it’s a choice. You don’t want a 90 day trial then don’t apply for a job where it’s important for the employer to have one.

    • Roger 13.1

      Until most if not all businesses decide it is important to have one. There was supposed to be equal negotiation between employers and employees, not a case of take it or leave it.

      • jbanks 13.1.1

        That’s a two way street. Employees with skills & experience can negotiate. Employers need these people. Operational needs and all.

      • Joshua 13.1.2

        There will always be negotiation, the employer needs someone to do the job, you also have bargaining power, unless there is someone better for the job than you, or is to do it for less than you, either way it’s still fair, because the employee should have the same chance to get the best person for the job.

  14. tsmithfield 14

    One thing we will never probably know is if this job advert would ever had been placed without the 90 day trial period.

    • Roger 14.1

      Businesses hire based on operational needs so it is highly likely that the job would have existed anyway.

    • Armchair Critic 14.2

      Yeah, I bet it made all the difference. Small consultancy businesses hire employees with a salary in the $100k range without actually having work and clients to justify that salary all the time. It’s good business practice. /sarcasm.

  15. felix 15

    What Bill said above bears repeating:

    But if you are a beneficiary and you refuse to apply for a job because the employer is stipulating that a 90 day trial period will apply, then you’ll lose your fucking benefit if WINZ get wind of the matter.

    Isn’t that compulsion in Wilkinson’s world?

    And to that I’d add: What if you’re on a benefit and you apply for a job and attempt to negotiate out of the 90 day trial but fail to do so successfully? What is WINZ policy here?

    And authoritarians (Gos, TS, banksie): Do you think WINZ should cut people off a benefit if they’ve tried to negotiate a good contract but the employer refuses to employ them without a 90 day trial?

    Straight answers please, a yes or no would be appreciated. Remember, 90 day trials are not compulsory by law.

    • jbanks 15.1

      Employers aren’t responsible for what happens to bad employees after they have got rid of them.

    • Nick C 15.2

      That could be an issue with any condition of employment. I.e. the employee might offer you a job at $14 per hour, which you unsuccessfully try to negotiate up to $15 per hour, thus causing issues with WINZ.

      Why does the 90 day trial period create additional problems in this area?

      • felix 15.2.1

        In that scenario you would be expected to take the job and if you refused then WINZ would most likely cut off your benefit.

        What I’m asking is if you think the same policy should apply to someone who refuses to accept the 90 day no rights period.

    • Joshua 15.3

      I hope WINZ take away benefit if tried to negotiate, the fact is if someone has the oportunity to not be costing the taxpayer money, and possibly getting off the dole for good that opportunity should be taken, remember they are costing you and me money, it could be spent on someone or something that really needs it. Rather than somebody who doesn’t want to prove they can work.

      But they still have the choice, if they have opportunities to get jobs, then they don’t need the dole do they?

      • felix 15.3.1

        Hey Josh, you do realise that people on benefits already have to prove that they’re trying to find work don’t you?

        Why should anyone have to accept the possibility of being fired for no reason?

        The Nats don’t think it should be compulsory (or so they say) but you think it should be compulsory for the poorest and most desperate people in our society.

        That says a lot about you.

        • Joshua

          Yes, because it’s a chance to prove they are able for the position, if they have chances like this they should have to prove it.

          It’s a trail period to see if they work out, if they don’t then they go back on the dole and look for the next position. Not really getting fired, rather not passing the test.

          I’m also not going to change my mind depending what party says what, it is what I believe, Just because the Nats believe in something or Labour do, doesn’t mean i’m going to agree or disagree with them. I’m discussing the issue at hand. (and by the way you word your post you don’t seem to take the same belief so why would you bother commenting?)

        • felix

          You obviously have no idea about my political leanings.

          p.s. This is why you’re stupid.

          Oh yeah and if your boss is a fuckwit like you and decides to make things difficult, you could be waiting 13 weeks for the dole. As has been explained to you already. Over and over again.

          I’m starting to think you’re just not very smart.

          • Joshua

            No, because of what has been explained over and over again to you,

            You will only be waiting 13 weeks for misconduct, if the boss hasn’t given the reason, they will go on the employees word, eg. no reason for dismiss given by boss, employee says boss is “boss is a fuckwit like you” then you don’t wait 13weeks or employee says a stole $1000 out of the safe, then you are waiting for 13weeks.

            I think thats fair enough, but I guess thats coming from a responsible person who pays their taxes, so I wouldn’t expect you to understand.

            I will admit I don’t consider myself smart, but I’d hate to be you struggling to keep up with a dummy who has been spared tackled one to many times.

            • felix

              So you either haven’t read any of the answers to your comments or you haven’t understood them.

              Or you have read and understood them but prefer to lie.

  16. tsmithfield 16

    My view is that WINZ should cut the benefit if they don’t take the job but should promptly reinstate the benefit if they lose it within the 90 day period.

    • QoT 16.1

      It’d be a nice idea if either you or I could expect WINZ to do anything promptly.

      • toad 16.1.1

        Cheers, QoT.

        Having dealt with Work and Income over the years (both as an advocate for beneficiaries and a beneficiary myself), I agree completely.

        One of the many problems with the 90 day trial is that if an employee is dismissed under it, the employer doesn’t have to give a reason why.

        But under WINZ rules, if they deem it to be for “misconduct”, a 13 week disqualification from unemployment benefit is imposed. And because the employer has no obligation to give a reason for the dismissal, the dismissed employee has no ability to challenge either the dismissal, or the assertion that it was for misconduct.

        No benefit for 13 weeks. Tough shit. Starve!

        • QoT

          Yep, toad. I’ve had too many friends have to beg for cash from mates to pay rent because WINZ has screwed up their student allowance or accommodation supplement to trust them – especially under a NACT government intent on cutting costs willy-nilly – to make sure that people fired by douchebag bosses don’t go hungry.

        • Joshua

          In this case WINZ would have to prove you were dismissed for misconduct, if they don’t you can take them to the small claims court, which costs you nothing. BTW if it is not proven you were dismissed of misconduct then you will receive your entitlement, if they have proof then fair enough, you shouldn’t receive benefit.

          • felix

            And “proof” could consist of the employer saying so.

            Which they don’t have to prove.

            Because the new law says they don’t.

            You’ve just described how it already works under the existing law.


            • QoT

              And of course while you’re taking WINZ to the small claims court you don’t need to keep paying rent or buying food or anything.

              • felix

                Wouldn’t know, Q – the servants take care of that type of minutiae.

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  Read the policy from the link further below. If the employer gives no reason for dismissal under a 90 day clause then WINZ takes the reason given by the person – unless you were going to say I got fired for stealing money of some other banal reason then you won’t get a thirteen week stand-down.

                  As for taking WINZ to the small claims court if you make the effort to read their manuals you’ll see that you can lodge a review against the decision. Any decent advocate would be aware of this.

                  If you are given a 13 week stand-down there is also a policy on re-compliance so you can still get payment. Alternatively if you are unwell you can go on Sickness Benefit.

                  Man with people like Toad and Joshua giving advice it’s no wonder people end up in dire straits.

                  The quality of advocacy leaves me in despair. In my day we used the OIA to get copies of the policy manuals – today they are online for anyone to read. If you are going to promote yourself as an advocate at least educate yourself – you;ll be far more use then.

                  • felix

                    I think the situation Toad referred to was one where the employer tells WINZ you were fired for misconduct (and under the 90 day law they can say that if they like without being held to account by anyone).

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      But under WINZ rules, if they deem it to be for “misconduct’, a 13 week disqualification from unemployment benefit is imposed. And because the employer has no obligation to give a reason for the dismissal, the dismissed employee has no ability to challenge either the dismissal, or the assertion that it was for misconduct.

                      Seems to me he’s saying that the employer gives no reason and the staff make the decision – the they doesn’t seem to refer to the employer.

                    • felix

                      Hmm, I suppose it could be read either way – I assumed it was meant the way that made it true but only Toad knows for sure. Toad?

                    • Joshua

                      It clearly says that if the employer gives no reason then it is taken on the word of the employee! People please read.

                  • Joshua

                    Note – I am just arguing the need for the 90day trail period but thanks for showing Felix here that it has already being said, sorry that I’m not a specialty at the English language, but everything I have said is a valid process, but it is good to know there are other easier processes than that I have described.

                    Also I’m not a official advocacy for the policy, just a general supporter getting my opinion out there.

            • Joshua

              No WINZ would have to prove it, if the employer has said so then he has given a reason. So who’s the idiot? First your arguing cause the employer hasn’t given a reason, then you are saying they have, so then deservedly so. If the employer says it was for misconduct they would have to say what misconduct, if not it would be assumed cause the employer didn’t need him therefore it wasn’t misconduct. If WINZ were to say it was for misconduct then they would have to prove it, otherwise they keep paying you, so yes it is how it works under the existing law. duh. You are trying to make a complication that doesn’t exist.

              So again, who’s the idiot?

              • felix

                Everything you just wrote about WINZ you just made up.

                I’ll make it simple for you: Employer sacks you for (say) being gay. You tell WINZ. WINZ asks employer. Employer tells WINZ it’s for misconduct.

                13 week stand down.

                It’s not a complicated process we’re describing here. As you seem to be the only one who can’t follow it I’d say you’re still the idiot.

                • Joshua

                  But if they don’t say what for and give the situation with back up then the word of the employee is taken. The boss is just a cunt so here is your 13week benefit.

                  No I’m just the one dumb enough to still be arguing with you.

                  • felix

                    “But if they don’t say what for and give the situation with back up “

                    Nah, you just made that up too. WINZ can take the word of whoever they like.

                    Point is no-one should have to go through any of that just to keep nasty little shits like you happy.

  17. loota 17

    Support the 90 day right for employees to walk away!!!

    If within 90 days of employment, an employee thinks an employer is TOTAL ASS, that employee shall have the right to walk away and leave their employment with no legal notice required and no reason given. That employer shall have no rights within a complaints or arbitration process over the employee’s decision to arbitrarily leave as it suits them.

    This bill will immediately raise the quality and standard of NZ business leadership and management, and grow the NZ economy as a result.

    • Joshua 17.1

      I’d agree, although they pretty much have that right already

      • Descendant Of Smith 17.1.1

        Except that employers wants the state to interfere in that right by imposing stand-downs if the employee leaves and stopping benefits if the potential employee doesn’t want to take their job.

        Despite all their rhetoric about leaving it to the market they don’t actually want that to happen.

        They like state interference went it suits.

  18. marsman 18

    Maybe employers need to take a good look at themselves. If they are not capable of hiring the right person for the job and they need 90 days to hum and haw maybe they should not hire anyone and do the work themselves,rather than try and treat people as underlings to be discarded at the whim of an incompetent employer. Don’t forget the employer makes profit out of the employee’s labour.

    • Gosman 18.1

      You mean like most of the rest of the Western world has a variation of this proposed change to the law? Seems like an awful lot of employers are incapable of hiring good staff then doesn’t it.

    • Fisiani 18.2

      Employers dont need to hum and haw for 90 days and do not. Many are let go after just a few weeks of starting as their incompetancy shows up virtually straight away. Those laid off as the 90 day approaches have bosees who have given them umpteen chances to shape up but finally lose patience and want to avoid losing tens of thousands.

    • Joshua 18.3

      exactly the case now, if they don’t feel they are right for the job, they don’t give out a position, this bill is to encourage employers to employ, otherwise they won’t. These people don’t have the chance now as businesses are not taking the risks, they will with the bill in place hence unemployment will go down. Logical isn’t it.

      • felix 18.3.1

        No-one hires staff unless they need staff. If you had ever been an employer in any capacity you wouldn’t say such blatantly ridiculous things Josh. You’re making a fool of yourself.

        • Joshua

          It depends what they are trying to do, expand, go into more expertise work etc. I have been in a position of hiring people, and have decided not to because of the risk involved, you don’t really know if you can sustain extra staff and the risk can be quite significant. If this bill was in effect I could of assessed the situation for a couple of months, if it was going to be profitable having extra staff they would be employed if it was detrimental they would of been let go. There would of been chance of employment through the system.

          • mcflock

            Hmmm. I’ve hired staff.

            If I knew I’d need staff for the next few months for a specific project, but further than that was contingent on funding, I went fixed term. With the option of a contract extension if the funding was there.

            Did that not occur to you?

            Other examples of fixed term agreements involve seasonal workers, support staff for projects dependent on external funding (e.g. community grants, Marsden Funding or new consulting contracts).

            It’s basic stuff.

            And yet you hadn’t heard of it.

            But you still talk like you know a damned thing about management.

            captcha: “degree”. What a lot of trained managers have. What a lot of managers who find it difficult to be fair, reasonable and act in good faith do not have.

          • Armchair Critic

            How is it ethical for the employer to transfer all the risk of their plans to”…expand [or] go into more expertise work…” on to the employee?
            As the employer will take most of the reward if their plan is successful, they should take the risk.

            • McFlock

              my current contract is fixed term with the option to extend if funding comes through.
              1: I was aware of this when I signed up, and am compensated for it (e.g. assumed some risk for increased reward);
              2: sure as eggs, if it gets rolled over a few times I’ll point out that it’s simpler for everyone to make it permanent.

              I would be severely #$@% off if they had said 2 months into it with no prior warning “sorry we didn’t get funding renewed, you’re fired”. Which is what Joshua apparently wants because he can’t manage staff fairly, reasonably or in good faith.

              • Armchair Critic

                Fixed term contracts and trial periods have their place. The ability for an employer to dismiss an employee without a good reason (I won’t refer to it as a right, because it is not a right) is unfair, unnecessary, degrading and inhumane. This applies irrespective of how long someone is employed for.

  19. Reading the subsequent posts on the original article here one would think that the changes to the 90 Day law is already in effect.

    It is still a CHOICE and negotiable under current legislation and NOT currently a pre-condition of employment.

    Those employment advertisements stating that ‘The 90 Day Trial Period applies” should be immediately withdrawn by Seek and TradeMe as they contain information that is currently against the law and the employment agency or business hit hard by the law makers for misleading potential employees.

    • Gosman 19.1

      Depends if they are one of the current companies that can use the current 90 day trial.

      • The Voice of Reason 19.1.1

        No it doesn’t, Gosman. It already breaks the law because it is couched as a pre-condition, removing the opportunity to negotiate. If you want to make a fast buck, send that CV, refuse to sign the contract with the 90 day clause and then sue them when they tell you you aren’t getting the job because it’s a requirement.

        Money for jam!

        Ps found an ad for a pet groomer on trademe: bit more humble than Structural Engineer, but equally in breach of the current Act.

        “All grooming equipment is provided.
        Both positions include weekend work.
        The 90 days trial period applies to both these positions.
        Start immediately.”

        • Joshua

          Yes it does, The Voice of Reason,

          It’s an advert – If you have more to give to the employer they will still negotiate, they will still look over your proposal, however if you argue there conditions, and they have someone who will agree with them, or don’t actually neeeeed the position, then they wont employ you simple.

  20. Even if they are they can’t put it in as a non-negotiable pre-employment condition UNTIL that part of the legislation is changed. Until then, it is a voluntary, negotiable part of employment and the employee cannot be forced or coerced into it.

    From the DOL website:

    Any trial period must be agreed to by the employer and employee in good faith and in writing as part of the employment agreement. The employer and employee must both bargain in a fair way about a proposed trial period. This includes considering and responding to any issues raised by the new employee.


    From 1 March 2009, a new employer, who employs 19 or fewer employees, can provide you with an offer of employment that includes a trial period. A trial period is voluntary, and must be agreed to in writing and negotiated in good faith as part of your employment agreement. The written employment agreement should be signed by both you and your employer at the beginning of your employment relationship.

    • Joshua 20.1

      Yes true, and the employer still has the right to decline you, so as a whole, it’s still negotiable isn’t it.

      • felix 20.1.1

        So “take it or leave it” is negotiation. At least you admit it.

        • Joshua

          Yes it can be,

          You can still say no, and if the employer really need you as much as you say then they will alter the contract.

  21. Rosy 21

    I’d be interested to know if a widespread 90-day probationary period might actually make it harder to hire good employees. Why risk changing jobs when if you might not get on with the new employer? I wonder if this would eventually be a good or bad for upskilling and productivity. I guess the policy advice process has been finished so NACT will know the answers to this question and have advised the public, no?

    • Not that I can find anwhere – guess we will have to wait until the Bill comes up for its various readings – unless they put it through under Urgency where it doesn’t have to have that basic due diligence.

  22. Another thing that occured to me … if a professional, skilled, good worker applies for a job that the employers has as a pre-condition the 90 day trial period I would predict that that potential employee would withdraw their application.

    Why? I hear you ask.

    A person with an excellent work record, with excellent qualifications, skills and knowledge to be successful in that job and add value to the company would not want to risk their professional reputation on a potentially dodgy employer’s whim. Try explaining to future employers why you were summarily dismissed within the first 3 months and you look like a bad risk, 3 month probation period or not.

    The extension of this legislation (as evidenced above in the intro) could well backfire and employers may just end up employing substandard employees when the really good employees can pick and choose where they wish to apply and who they wish to work for. Any good employer, with good recruitment practices will know the difference and not insist on invoking this backward and purulent employment legislation.

    • Nick C 22.1

      If thats true, and it is actually not beneficial for employers to use the 90 day trial period as quality workers will not apply, then surely the outcome will be that employers will choose not to use the 90 day trial period, and thus the bill is not an issue?

      • tea 22.1.1

        It protects poor employers Nick.

        I hope your boss is a drunk psycho who fancies groping you and you dont like it so you get fired. Perhaps that would make you think again.

        • Joshua

          tea – “I hope your boss is a drunk psycho who fancies groping you and you dont like it so you get fired.” Then leave, simple you have grounds to quit in that case, you shouldn’t support someone like that, and since you work is obviously important to the business then leave them to fail.

          Whats your point, you want the law to keep people in a situation where their boss is a “drunk psycho who fancies groping you”?

          • felix

            You don’t think the groper should be the one getting fired?

            Interesting, Josh. Very interesting.

            • Joshua

              Haha, I didn’t say that, however it’s up to you to make the stand, if the company accepts that behavior do you really want to be working for them anyway?

    • Joshua 22.2

      and? your point?

      It just proves the bill will work, as it will give those people who would otherwise not have a chance, because of someone more experienced a chance to prove themselves.

      • George.com 22.2.1

        Joshua, you really need to read the criteria for the job being advertised. An experienced skilled person is wanted. Not some young graduate with no experience, or an unskilled person with little job history behind them. If the law was only about helping the marginal workers into employment and protecting small businesses, why did Key apply it to ALL workers and ALL firms – big and small. Keys justifications for the law don’t hold up.

  23. infused 23

    When employing people, there are always bad eggs. People lie about all sorts of things. References are always going to say something good, why else would you have them as a reference. Trying to get rid of someone shit is a hard process.

    I’m about to hire my second person now since this 90 trail went live. It’s removed a lot of stress about employing someone shit. You can do all the checks you want, they will always find a way through.

    I don’t pay my peopole min wage either. I have a 20yr old working for me. Fresh out of polytech. He’s worked out well. After 8 months, he’s had a pay rise ($16hr), company car, company phone and a laptop.

    Really good employee, and I am going to reward that.

    I really fail to see what the problem is.

    • The Voice of Reason 23.1

      $16 bucks an hour is the problem, you cheapskate. If he’s that good pony up with a decent hourly rate. At the moment you’re just behind Maccas.

      • Joshua 23.1.1

        $16hr, with company car, phone and laptop is shit?

        Shezz where do you work? That sound quite good right outa polytech, I’m jealous.

        Also if he thinks it’s bad, then he can leave and find a better position can’t he.

        • felix

          Not too bad if it’s secure. However…

          … it’s shit if you could leave work on friday afternoon with that job, car, phone and laptop and turn up on monday morning to have it all taken away.

          For no reason.

          And have to find another job in a recession with 7% unemployment and have no access to a benefit for 13 weeks.

          Very, very shit.

          • Joshua

            Haha, in a environment like that you should consider yourself luckly to get the chance.

            Yes that was directed at felix, feel sorry for the company employing you.

            • felix

              And there it is.

              Everyone should just be bloody grateful that they’re allowed a job at all.

              Yessir massa!

  24. Rosy 24

    If I got a trial with a bad employer I’d fudge the reference, knowing it won’t be checked because the employer is relying on the 90-day trial to cover poor employment procedures, be really good for 90 days, toe the line, get on with everyone and day 91 I’d call in sick and then start stirring 😉

    • Joshua 24.1

      The reason why it’s 90 days is because people can’t hide it for 3months, if they are like that it’ll happen within that time frame.

      • McFlock 24.1.1


        • Joshua

          for what?

          • Rosy

            “The reason why it’s 90 days is because people can’t hide it for 3months, if they are like that it’ll happen within that time frame”

            I’d link to an article but some have restricted access – but try going to google scholar type in [employee probationary period absenteeism] change the timeframe to 2008 to get some recent research and see what comes up… I’m pretty sure I could fake it for 90 days.

  25. ak 25

    Many thanks to all National an ACT contributors to this thread. Your enthusiastic contributions confirm that this is indeed a sensitive issue, and I can assure you that you will enjoy the fruits of your efforts.

    Along with the National Government’s draconian meal break proposals and your contributory support on Red Alert, I can ensure you that your comments and exhortations will inspire many workers as they are distributed throughout workplaces within NZ and beyond.

    Particular thanks to commenter Gosman who epitomises beyond any compare, the brand of risible, last-century red-neckery so appreciated by our members.

    • Joshua 25.1

      ak – how does that relate to the matter at hand, I thought this post was about the 90 day bill, not Labour vs National, I know plenty of dedicated Labour voters who also support this bill.

      • felix 25.1.1

        The matter at hand is that nasty little authoritarians (like you) are the only people likely to benefit from this law change. (You’re welcome to show some evidence to demonstrate otherwise but you’ve totally failed to do so to date).

        That being the case, it’s helpful to get the views of nasty little fucks (like you) on record so that everyone can see what this law change is really about and who it’s for.

        • Joshua

          Another words for workers? I’m now considered a skilled worker, however I used to work for a company that had to shut down, because of one selfish worker who was let go. It was found the company was in the right, but had to shut down anyways because of the money it cost to fight the decision in court. Another words “nasty little fucks (like you)” = people who have suffered and are trying to protect other innocent employees.

  26. George.com 26

    A huge mis-match here between the stated reason for introducing the law and the way that it is being utilised by businesses. John Key has stated a number of times that this law is to help ‘marginal workers access the labour market’, employers will be encouraged to offer work to such ‘marginal people’ under a risk free 90 day trial. ‘Marginal’ workers include, but may not be limited to, the unskilled, long term unemployed, new immigrants, youth or recently released prisoners.

    Now, compare that list with the person the advertisement is seeking – an experienced structural engineer. That is, someone with a history of employment and with skills. Must have NZ experience, so not a new immigrant. Strong command of English, not a person who will struggle with the english language. If the ideal candidate for that position is a ‘marginal’ worker then I guess we have a ‘marginal’ prime minister.

    Rhetoric vs reality – two different things.

    • Joshua 26.1

      “but may not be limited to” – important words you even provided in your post.

      And your point, if he is experienced enough I’m sure he is not scared of losing his job within the first 90 days is he? or even then if he has that experience and the company wants to hire him he could still negotiate the terms, as he would easily find a position else where. If you have read the posts above you will find one discussing this point already.

      • George.com 26.1.1

        so lets sweep the previous rhetoric under the mat and try to ignore the inconsistencies huh? The point remains, and your explanation does nothing to dispell it, that Keys message was that small business needs some ‘protection’ as they take a risk on hiring ‘marginal’ or ‘fringe’ workers. That is how the law was packaged, thats how it was sold. The job advertisement is not about a business employing ‘fringe’ or ‘marginal’ workers. Rhetoric and reality – very different with this example, aren’t they (note, this is not a question). Key wasn’t very straight with his messaging, was he.

        • Joshua

          He explained what the law was intended for but not limited to. Im a engineer who does calculations all day but still am able to understand this simple English. Also I still don’t see the problem here?

          • felix

            Im a engineer who does calculations all day

            Nah, you work as a lowly bank auditor.

          • George.com

            The policy was sold as facilitating marginal workers into employment. The reality is that we have skilled and experienced people being subject to it. Rhetoric vs Reality – two seperate things.

  27. Jenny 27

    Any luck on digging up that press release, Lynne?

    In July in answer to the question, what is the Labour Party doing about these new laws, you wrote:

    Union leaders vowed to fight the changes and Labour leader Phil Goff promised to scrap the 90-day scheme altogether if Labour regained power.
    It is a bit late but I will try to find time to write a post tomorrow after I dig out the press release

    • The Voice of Reason 27.1

      I had a quick search through the Labour party site, Jenny. There are quite a few press releases to choose from and the few I opened all seem to be saying the fire at will law has to go.


      • Jenny 27.1.1


        Labour leader Phil Goff promised to scrap the 90-day scheme altogether if Labour regained power

        Doesn’t seem to be any mention of the above mentioned press release among that list.

        Does anyone else know where Phil promised this?

        Can anyone help me confirm that Phil has “promised to scrap the 90-day scheme”?

        Does anyone know if Phil is prepared to go public with this commitment again?

        captcha – importantly

  28. tea 28

    It’s fucking offensive and I would shed no tears if a militia put them all against the wall.

    A senior and well qualified position to be put under probation is just hideously offensive. Especially from such incompetent pricks in parliament- Brownlee, Wilkinson, and the education lush et al…

    • Joshua 28.1

      Then don’t take the job!!!

      • felix 28.1.1

        Take it or leave it, peasant!

        • QoT

          It’s not COMPULSORY, you don’t HAVE to eat!

          • Joshua

            Oh yea, because a Senior Structural Engineer is obviously coming from a unemployed position where he is unable to obtain any other position. Come on QoT, you are starting to sound as knowledgeable as felix here.

            • felix

              Then there’s no need for the trial.

            • QoT

              You are SO RIGHT, Joshua. Truly no skilled people can possibly have lost jobs in the recent recession. And then the market can’t have been overloaded with applicants for each and every position that did become available – many of whom are actually vastly overqualified but still need to pay the bills and thus make it even harder for less-qualified but still experienced workers to get the job.

              How’s the air on your planet? I hear it’s nice in summer.

  29. Descendant Of Smith 29

    Most sensible people know that most people lost their jobs cause their was no work.
    Contracts were lost, people stopped buying goods, banks stopped lending, population is getting older, lawyers, accounts and bankers stole millions, the government let in overseas workers to pick the fruit, – there’s a new fraud popping up in the news most days – though there’s been a few church minister scamming people as well.

    This policy has little to do with creating work unless it is by competing on a lower wage basis. longterm it won’t help small business it will help the corporates as they continue to grow and undermine small businesses.

    Here’s the current WINZ policy off their site for someone applying after a 90 day trial. As I’ve noted before from my advocacy days all the policies the staff have to apply are on their website for advocates to use. There’s no reason Joe Bloggs can’t look at them as well.

    If the client’s employer does not provide the reason for the client’s employment ceasing during the employment trial, accept the client’s reasons for the termination and continue with the application process. However, the employer must complete the date ceased and last pay details.

    policy link

    • Joshua 29.1

      Yes, and everybody knows businesses are not wanting to take risks during this period, and are willing to grow slowly without needing to employ extra staff, so to encourage them to take these risks, we need to reduce the risk in the decision. Hence the bill.

      I don’t know how it’s going to help bigger businesses as they will be hiring as usual, they usually have a greater ability to absorb some of the risk, so it won’t benefit them as much. It’s the smaller businesses that are being restricted at the moment, as they are not able to take such risks, so must remain stagnate and not able to grow. So I think your thinking is actually the other way round, as this bill will actually support smaller businesses.

      • felix 29.1.1

        It’s already in place for small businesses you terminal fool.

        The proposed change is to have the same law apply to big businesses as well.

        So after all those wasted pixels of your little “wallpaper the standard” spree today it turns out that you actually don’t see any reason for the law change.

        Jolly good. Moron.

        • Joshua

          Yes it is optional for smaller businesses at the moment, however the medium sized businesses still will benefit from this, and as I believe they are not entitled to this yet, I still believe this should be introduced to bigger businesses. More out of fairness than increasing numbers, businesses such as Fletcher Construction, Fulton Hogan, Telecom, Vodafone, Air New Zealand, etc, will benefit from the change and help them grow sooner. In the end provide a minimal amount of relief for these companies and the Unemployment Rate, however I do apologize, as I have mentioned before I’m not that great at English, I meant I don’t think it will have much of a long term effect, I didn’t make that clear at all, and again apologize for that. I do believe it will have a positive short term effect but not long term.


          • felix

            Oh I think you’ve made yourself perfectly clear. Bummer for you.

            • Descendant Of Smith

              Now Joshua how much money has Fletchers made from being a beneficiary of the state – particularly in the early years of state housing, where does Fulton Hogan get most of it’s funding for it’s roading contracts, who originally paid for the infrastructure that Telecom and Air NZ have – funny it was the state.

              The companies you list have all been massive beneficiaries of the taxpayer.

              How many staff would Fulton Hogan have laid off if it wasn’t for the government bringing forward roading contracts?

              No doubt you won’t even see the irony in slagging off one group of beneficiaries while praising another.

  30. prism 30

    Joshua so many smart ass remarks and criticisms. What’s your point now? I think you said all you knew earlier in the day now you seem to want to squash with sarcasm anybody else’s reasonable viewpoint. Too much and too little is your slogan.

    • Joshua 30.1

      No, come on man have you been reading my posts? I have been discussing the points and arguing that what is said is false, and I think I’m entitled to my opinion. However you don’t need to worry, I’m recovering well from my injury and should be returning back to work Monday, quite excited but it, but will mean I’ll most likely be to busy to come and comment on this site. I’ll still try and keep an hour a day commenting on posts etc. However most of this time will be effort put into my own Blog, http://aktransportnz.wordpress.com and on http://www.aucklandtrains.co.nz and also http://transportblog.co.nz. At least these blogs have people who have educated opinions backed with facts. – Now thats squashing your opinion mate, is that what you wanted?

      • Rosy 30.1.1

        If you got that injury in the 90 day trial period you might not have a job to go back to.

  31. RedLogix 31

    Over many centuries the nature of employment has gradually changed.

    For much of human history chattel slavery was the norm. You were born as your owner’s property and he used/disposed of your body exactly as he pleased.

    More valuable slaves (read educated professionals) might aspire to being treated with some consideration, to be consulted on matters of import to his life, and to be fed and clothed decently. But you were still your owner’s property.

    Fuedalism evolved into a more subtle exchange; the local war-lord provided protection, policing, rudimentary justice services and in return demanded a portion of crops, goods and man-power. (Not to mention making free with the local maid-power.) A more flexible arrangement, but ultimately the land-bound serfs were still regarded as property that came with the territory.

    As the medieval period evolved there arose the two challenging forces to this ancient arrangement. The first was the option of leaving civil life and entering a church monastary. For the first time in much of history ordinary people had an option to being the economic property of a master. (Of course the churches were not any kind of ideal in modern terms, but for many they were a blessed haven of security and self-respect.) The other power phenomonon was the appearance of the ‘free town’, places where guilds of merchants and tradespeople could form cooperatives of a sort, living at least within the town boundaries as free men.

    Partly in response to these challenging models, and partly due to the economic forces unleashed by the Black Death, slavery itself morphed into what we recognise as the master/servant relationship in which the servant, while no longer the master’s property… had no choices other than to either take or leave the terms on offer. Everthing was determined by the master, the servant either accepted them or left to try and find employment elsewhere. A progression past slavery, but still a massively unequal power relationship. The dire history of that kind of exploitation directly led to the birth of the union movement.

    Since the end of WW2 the trend in employment law has been to attempt to redress that power imbalance in the master/servant employment model. Progress has been uneven but anyone who talks to their grandfather about their working life as a young man will be stunned at how much we nowadays take for granted. Much of what the unions bitterly fought for is taken as a given by many and they have no clue as to what they stand to loose.

    At the root of the master/servant model lies the notion of an omniscient master unilaterally bidding his unthinking servants in a rigid top-down power heirarchy. But in the modern world the global value of unskilled, unthinking labour is more or less zero. All real value is created by skilled and knowledge workers. The master/servant model is a poor fit for this new paradigm. It’s inadequate and outdated.

    The opportunity for the left is clear. It is time to move past the ‘master/servant’ model of employment and begin to make steps towards a more general awareness and acceptance of the collective model. Fundamentally the interests of business owners/entrepeneurs is the same for the employees/workers. Both are motivated by the desire to participate in something creative, excellent and worthwhile, something that creates value and makes money for all stakeholders.

    At this point in time NZ is cursed with a government in the pocket of the ‘master classs’. Naturally they want to roll back the gains of the last decades in the interests of their backers. They are firmly locked into a ‘master/servant’ employment model and fundamentally yearn for the good ol’ days when the power balance lay firmly with the bosses. Which is of course a foolish step backwards.

    Look at the advert in the OP. What ‘experienced senior structural engineer with an NZ Degree” would apply for this job? No-one, and most especially if they were any good, would apply to work for this employer. It reeks of a shonky authoritarian outfit that will in the long-run flounder because they are no good at getting the best out of the people they work with.

    This 90-Day Fire at Will provision is not just unjust for workers, but in the bigger picture it’s a myopic bit of retrogressive futility. Yes the left has to fight this on it’s own terms, but we should not neglect the opportunity it presents to talk about the bigger picture.

    • Descendant Of Smith 31.1

      Appreciate someone who can succinctly put the historical context.

      I was recently reading my grandfathers union book from the railways in the 1930’s. It’s quite clear from that that it was about mates looking after mates and the union giving the Health and Safety guidance that today employers are required by law to do.

      Unions members fought for those working conditions that all these selfish pricks enjoy today.
      As a union delegate I fought not only for working conditions and wages but equal employment opportunities and equal pay for women.

      I remember the days when people had playboy centrefolds by their desks, women were only good for tellers and overseas – it was only in the 80’s the bank appointed their first female accountant, interviews were set up so the women being interviewed had her back to the other men holding up scorecards rating the looks and the size of her breasts, and so on.

      While we are making great strides backwards young people don’t have any understanding of how things used to be.

      Hopefully there’s enough with inquiring minds that they’ll take a long hard look.

    • Draco T Bastard 31.2

      Well said.

  32. NickS 32

    Over many centuries the nature of employment has gradually changed.

    For much of human history chattel slavery was the norm. You were born as your owner’s property and he used/disposed of your body exactly as he pleased.

    Given only until the last 10,000 or so years human population densities grew till the point towns and cities emerged, I call bullshit.

    While slavery does happen in hunter-gather societies, only when cities and city states start emerging do you see a shift from barter and kin/tribe obligation towards slavery, and slavery like systems (i.e. feudalism) as normal state for the majority of workers. And even then, the level of slavery is going to vary based off regional and social factors concerning availability of slaves, legal status of them etc. If anything, slavery etc only exceeds other means of work relationships in the last 3000 odd years, which is a rather small chunk of the 100,000+ year history of Homo sapiens.

    • RedLogix 32.1

      Given only until the last 10,000 or so years human population densities grew till the point towns and cities emerged,

      Oh fair enough…but wasn’t 10,000 yrs of human misery and exploitation enough for you?

  33. Deborah Kean 33

    “What bus do you catch in the morning???

    Are you sure it isn’t the one taking the people on PD or having to do court dictated community service to work.”

    What a nasty litle man to say such a thing…

  34. Deborah Kean 34

    “Best of luck but getting them to comply with basic employment law can be a nightmare as they know they can get away with a lot.”

    Exactly. I went through the whole process and got nowhere except screwed. (At least I found out for certain that my dismissal wasn’t my fault, but still couldn’t get any compensation, or even acknowledgement.)

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  • Electoral law breach allegations
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  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
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  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
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  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
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  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
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