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National’s attack on working Kiwis

Written By: - Date published: 6:56 pm, July 15th, 2010 - 248 comments
Categories: class war, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

Not content with letting rising unemployment and spending cuts undermine the wages of working New Zealanders, National is planning a new major attack on their work rights.

According to One News, Key’s government is planning to extend the 90 day no-rights legislation to all New Zealanders and deny them the right to access their representatives in the workplace.

And the rumour is there’s more to come including a move to limit workers’ right to justice by reducing their (already limited) rights to take personal grievances.

This will mean that anyone starting a new job will have no rights for three months. That’s three months in which they’ll be able to be fired for anything without the need for an employer to give a reason.

Think about that.

If you start a new job and your employer decides they don’t like your religion, your desire to join a union, who you’re friends with, the fact you won’t work unpaid overtime or anything else they feel like they can sack you.

And there’s nothing you’ll be able to do about it.

Take, for example, Amy Jewitt who was working for overland shoes in Te Pahu who was told she had to wear expensive shoes from the store she worked in but refused because it would have taken the bulk of her part-time pay.

What happened when she refused?

The Manager told Ms Jewitt that she is on a three month probation period and by not wearing the shoes she was not committed to the job.

But it’s not just new workers who will feel this because workers with no rights have no bargaining power and that means the extension of this no-rights law will see even more downward pressure on all wages.

The attack on worker representation will do the same because wages in New Zealand are pulled up by union members.

As I wrote just yesterday, there’s been a lot of pressure on Key to let the dogs off the leash – and with the election just 12 months away and big donations flagging I’m picking this big gift to business is about loosening the purse strings.

And it’s every working Kiwi that will pay the price.

248 comments on “National’s attack on working Kiwis ”

  1. big bruv 1

    This is fantastic news, it seems that the 90 day trial period has been such a raging success that the government is now keen to open it up to all employers.

    Frankly Irish, I am amazed that you would be against anything that improves the chances of somebody getting a job.

    This is not all the government will announce, they are also going to take the long overdue move to let business owners deny access to unions from their workplace, this move is also to be applauded.

    • IrishBill 1.1

      Nothing makes me more happy than knowing I fundamentally disagree with such a fundamentally disagreeable character as you.

      • big bruv 1.1.1

        Oh, so you would rather see people on the dole than agree that an extension of the 90 day trial bill is a good idea.

        At what stage are you going to tell the working man that you do not care less if he has a job or not Irish?

        • IrishBill

          Tell me what I think one more time and I’ll ban you.

          • big bruv

            Temper, temper Irish, I would never dream of ever suggesting that you think at all.

            Banning somebody because they happen to disagree with you, yep, that is the left showing its true colours.

            So tell me Irish, before you ban me for simply asking questions, what is so wrong with a system that offers out of work Kiwis the chance of a job?

            Over 40% of the firms who hired a new worker said they would not have taken the chance without the safety net of the 90 day probation period, this can only be a good thing in tough times.

            [lprent: He’d ban you for trying to say what he is thinking (ie putting words into his mouth). I’d happily ban you for that as well. At least Irish gave you a warning…. Most unusual. ]

            • loota

              big bruv get a grip, wheres the DoL (or any other) stats which say this policy has created ‘the chance of a job’ for any out of work Kiwis that would not have been there before.

              Its simply about increasing power of the Bosses over the workers, and bear in mind that a lot of these workers are not going to be blue collar, they are going to be professionals, new grads and others. And a fair chance that this change in balance of power will adversely affect people you know or even yourself before one day long.

            • Bill

              Are businesses philanthropic enterprises now who hire workers ‘just because’ as long as they the workers are ‘good sorts’? Which is why they need 90 days; in order to determine the affability of new workers?

              Or are businesses misanthropic enterprises that hire workers begrudgingly while seeking to dodge any moral obligation towards them? Which is why they need 90 days; in order to get three months of utter compliance and three months of legal protection for any unreasonable and hitherto sanctionable behaviour?

              What you reckon BB?

              We in a world where Quaker run Fry’s, Bourneville and Cadbury companies try to ameliorate the effects of capitalism on workforces? ( the somewhat philanthropic business model) Or are we living in a world where the last of those companies has just been acquired by Kraft and is being downsized? (the misanthropic model)

            • big bruv


              They are not ‘workers’ until they have a bloody job!

              This bill gives them that chance, remember, 40% of the companies that hired somebody said they would not have done so without the safety net of the trial period.

              40% of the people who found work have done so BECAUSE of this bill.

              It does not matter how you lot try and spin this it is not an attack on workers rights, it is giving people the chance of a job, surely even you would have to say that is a good thing.

              • loota

                Where is this 40% number from? How many employers were surveyed? Did all of those contracts really have the clause in them?


                Its an attack on workers and another opportunity for employers to get lazy with bad treatment of staff.

                Typical National, no concept of an advancing economy needing tight co-operation between workers and employers, their concept is always that management is right and workers need to be controlled.

                • Tigger

                  And how many of these companies fired people before 90 days…?

                  Anyone else hear Wilkinson refer to employers using ‘his’? Her gender politics are as backward as her ideas for labour reform.

            • big bruv

              Yeah, but you are not know for your tolerance of differing opinions are you Irpent.

              [lprent: I suspect that I am known for being tolerant of differing opinions. However I’m known to be quite intolerant of bad behavior. Trying to tell someone else what they are thinking is something that I will land on particularly hard because it causes the most stupid flame wars. In fact it would probably be one of the most effective disruption techniques in forum comments because it winds up heading off into side discussions about what people said rather than the topic at hand. That is why I don’t tolerate it.

              Umm I see that you walked over that edge with Irish. That is despite me warning you earlier. Self-inflicted injury… ]

              • BB you should answer Loota (as well as pay your bets)

                How does the 90 day trial period create more jobs. How does it create extra work to make employers decide to take on more staff. Doesn’t it just make good employees stick to their jobs rather than risk the possibility of a fire at will new job?

        • Mutante

          So we should be grateful for whatever crumbs we get chucked to us no matter how shitty the conditions and have no right to complain?

          Fuck off mate. If it comes to that I’ll rob you first.

    • I am sick and tired of hearing my friends become so down hearted after winning a job and then being let go on day 90!! It is happening time and again because there are some unscrupulous employers out there.

      Not only does it make them less inclined to find further employment but it makes the paper war of ping ponging on and off the DOLE horrendous, thus increasing costs to the Government.

      • TightyRighty 1.2.1

        name and shame the employers then. go on, i doubt it will be more than 3, so name them. if you won’t then obviously your friends are useless and deserve the sack, or more likely, you are full of it.

  2. michaeljsavage 2

    all it does – is remove trust between employees and employers. All it does is widen the gap of any understanding or building of any sort of trust in the workplace.

    What happens when you overlegislate or become punitive in actuality or possibility … people start to find ways around the system – or they adopt the attitude of … ‘screw you – I will get the max i can and drop you like a hot scone when it suits me…”

    Yes – thats a great recipe for a cooperative and equitable society in what is proving to be a declining and sick economy.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      that trust was removed in the 1980s by the 4th Labour government. It’s just taken the last ~30 years for people to realise.

      • loota 2.1.1

        Just because its labelled “Labour” doesn’t necessarily mean that Savage would’ve been proud of it.

  3. comedy 3

    I haven’t heard much about this bill since the uproar during it’s discussion in parliament and introduction. Is there any data on whether it’s increased/decreased employment and how many have been axed after the 3 month period ?

    • IrishBill 3.1

      Nope. I’m pretty sure the department of labour hasn’t gathered the data.

      • Factual 3.1.1

        There has been data from the department of labour which shows that 40% that is 40% of those who have employed people over the last xx months (sorry cant remeber how many months the ONE NEWS item said – Interesting that this statistic was not mentioned above, considering it was in the same ONE NEWS Item) said that they would not have employeed people without this 90 day trial. So many more have been given a chance to work. And i am pretty sure that there have not been many people “fired” after the 90 days as there has hardly been a whisper from Unions about people being “fired”. This goes to show that there was a lot of scare mongering at the time about how “devastating” it would be to workers rights.

        • IrishBill

          So you’re saying companies that have a financial stake in seeing workers lose their rights have said it’s been a good thing for worker to lose their rights? So it must be a good thing?

          Nice work Einstein.

        • Bill

          “And i am pretty sure that there have not been many people “fired’ after the 90 days as there has hardly been a whisper from Unions about people being “fired'”

          Seeing as how a trial period had to be written into Agreements and unions would have had the bargaining power to avoid 90 day trial clauses in their Agreements, one might assume there is a fairly obvious reason why there is no uproar from unions on members being fired within 90 days.

          And there has hardly been a whisper from bosses about being unable to fire people without process or reason.

          As for individuals who have no bargaining power and no-one to speak on their behalf when they are fired and who do not even become statistics since there is no way for the DoL to gather data on arbitrary firing within 90 days….

        • Draco T Bastard

          Don’t see anywhere in that One News article anything about 40% of people in the last xx months being employed solely because of a 90 day fire at will clause.

          The unions had this to say though:

          However unions are cautious.

          “The CTU has represented a number of young people who in their first job have been dismissed, they don’t know why, they haven’t been given any reasons or any chance to improve,” says spokeswoman Helen Kelly.

          “For a number of the young people we have represented it has been a simply devastating experience,” she said.

          Seems that it’s doing exactly as the Left said it would do and, probably, exactly what NACT wanted it to do – lower workers protection from arsehole bosses and lower wages. So, no scaremongering – just facts.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        I’m sure that they were specifically told not to, or, at least, the 90 day fire at will bill had no clauses or resources to do so.

      • lprent 3.1.3

        From memory of the debate when it was introduced I believe that the DOL didn’t have any method to collect the stats or to investigate claims of abuse. So there is no objective evidence. Everything is anecdotal

  4. michaeljsavage 4

    When war comes … and it is coming …. people like big bruv will all find that their ideology becomcs “ashes in their mouth” and they will need all those people who suffer under his preferred rightwing uncaring regime.

    You can be certain – that good kiwis will never ever fight and die for the maintenance of a system that has consistently betrayed them and sold their heritage for a mess of pottage or a bag of silver. On the contrary … they will fight to see it changed – this time for good.

    If blood be the price of your cursed wealth … good god we have brought it dear…

    Shame on John Key … a good image for them is the 9 witchking riders galloping out of Mordor in the Lord of the Rings …. “one key to rule them all – one key to (tax) and find them – and in the darkness bind them…”

    And i leave it to the rest of your imaginations as to which are the various orcs and uruk hai – possibly one is called Paula – the other resembles the minister of in-corrections – and mccully is probably wormtail….and gollum probably has his closest resemblance to another social media commentator of the opposite political hue … “myyyyy preeeecious”

    But i digress.

    • big bruv 4.1

      The war is here already Michael, the last Labour government started it.

      You simply cannot keep taxing the hell out of the working man and then offer hand outs to parasites and DPB slappers without there being a rebellion when times get tough.

      Labour abused the good nature of the average Kiwi worker, for this they are now paying the price.

      The only disappointing thing from my point of view is that Key has not actually realised how much support he has out here for a more aggressive attack on the bludgers, if he was to take an axe to long term dole bludgers and the previously mentions DPB slappers he would be amazed at how much support he would have among middle NZ.

      • loota 4.1.1

        Forget trying to convince us that you are for ‘the working man’, have you already forgetten that we’ve all just seen you back legislation which would let that ‘working man’ you pretend to champion get fired by the corporate elite for no reason whatsoever, with no comeback. And this is legislation which is going to apply to skilled workers as well – professionals, middle managers, etc. I hope National keeps going staunch as you hope, lets just watch what middle NZ thinks of being shafted at will by the bosses.

      • Tiger Mountain 4.1.2

        “Slappers’ not a nice way to refer to John Keys mother, you whimp BB.

        Unless I missed something middle New Zealand are included in this attack on workers rights. Union members have been keeping the rest of the working poplulation afloat to some extent by actually securing wage increases over the last couple of years something the bludging non members have generally been unable to do.

        • big bruv


          Watching you desperately try and find a negative in the fantastic 90 day trial bill is hilarious, it has worked remarkably well yet for some reason you are desperate to see hundreds of Kiwis back on the dole.

          Your comments on unions is equally laughable, they always have been, and remain, a burden on the working man, one only has to see the totally negative influence they have on the teaching ‘profession’ to know that.

          If unions were such a necessity then there would be thousands and thousands of Kiwi workers happily paying their dues, clearly most workers see them as nothing more than parasites.

          • IrishBill

            If unions were such a necessity then there would be thousands and thousands of Kiwi workers happily paying their dues,

            There are 375,000 union member in New Zealand. You’re an idiot.

            • tsmithfield

              Irish, you didn’t quite answer BB. He didn’t say there aren’t thousands of union members. What he did say was there would be thousands and thousands of them happily paying their dues. It is point about whether or not they are all happy about paying their dues that you haven’t answered.

              • IrishBill

                If they’re not happy they leave the union or they stay in the union and change things. That’s because unions are voluntary democratic organisations.

                I note nobody from the right has quibbled with the fact this is a move to get business (and business’s money) back on side. I find that quite telling.

                • Maybe that’s because that’s not the intention of this policy IB – except in your imagination 😉

                  • IrishBill

                    Thanks to your mate Whale I’ve seen the accounts. I’ve also got a lot of contacts in the business community that have told me the pressure has been on for this and the money’s been withheld.

                    Doesn’t take a genius to put two and two together.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      There’s also form. ‘No Brash No cash’ wasn’t because they liked the man’s Orewa bullshit.

            • big bruv

              There is that temper again Irish!

              375,000 out of a workforce of roughly 2.4 million.

              Clearly that is a huge FAIL for the union movement.

              • IrishBill

                Temper? So now you’re telling me how I feel as well as what I think? Take a month off.

                • He should not be allowed back until he proves he has paid Wikileaks.

                • The Voice of Reason

                  Nice one, Irish. If he puts a few quid away each week, he might be able to afford to buy back some credibility on his return. What a plonker.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.3

        You simply cannot keep taxing the hell out of the working man and then offer hand outs to parasites and DPB slappers without there being a rebellion when times get tough.

        you’re right – you can’t but that is exactly what NACT+MP have done in the last budget. Increased taxes on the workers and given the bludgers massive tax cuts.

      • john 4.1.4

        I personally find your use of the term ” slappers” highly offensive. It means a girl who you consider to be a slut and can be disciplined by the odd slap here and there! Sexism and sadism (pleasure in humiliating another) are nasty faults you obviously have big bruv old guy!

        • Grapethroat

          Don’t be silly, it’s a reference to the slap slap noise made during frequent sex. Geez, where did you go to school?

          • loota

            Or being slapped around during frequent sex.

            Either ways Big Bruv its a derogatory and wholely unnecessary label to place on women.

        • John

          …slapper Noun. 1. A sexually promiscuous woman. Derog. 2. A contemptible woman. slapping the monkey Noun. Masturbating. E.g.”How are you going to catch up on your sleep if you’re lying there slapping the monkey all night?”…

          Here’s the definition of “slapper” from the dictionary of British slang above It is a term of contempt
          I stand by this term as highly offensive,sexist(aimed at women,not men!)and sadistic as it intends to humiliate and the humiliator would certainly get a pleasurable rush saying it!
          If you were my big bruv,big bruf I would rapidly part ways with you mate!

  5. big bruv 5


    That is exactly the same type of rubbish your lot predicted when the 90 day bill first came into force, have we seen a rash of sackings?…no.

    What it has done is give business owners the confidence to take a chance on somebody in tough times, because of that hundreds (if not thousands) of Kiwis are now in work.

    Yet, for some reason, you think this is a bad idea.

    • loota 5.1

      Like I said above, where’s your DoL stats which show that anyone extra has been taken on as a result.

  6. Anne 6

    “And the rumour is there’s more to come including a move to limit workers’ right to justice by reducing their (already limited) rights to take personal grievances.”

    If that happens then I hope the work force will rise up en masse against this government. I was once on the receiving end of a tyrannical and sexist boss ( it was a government department too) and it was not until I took the matter beyond the work-place and threatened a personal grievance case that his superiors in Wellington got off their butts and did something about it.

    To deny members of the workforce their right to personal grievances is tantamount to despotic governance and can only lead to massive disruption and disorder.

  7. loota 7

    I haven’t seen anyone raise this explicitly, but one affect of this change will be to tie existing workers to existing (crap) employers much more tightly. The reason being that it provides a disincentive for any worker/professional to change jobs, if he or she knows that they may be fired from a new job for no reason within 90 days.

    No old job, no new job, no comeback, no mortgage payments, no food on the table for kids – therefore safer just to stick with the current job and the current boss even though its s**t.

    The upshot is that it makes crap employers look better and reduces employer costs by forcing employee turnover downwards. That’s where employers really make on this deal.

  8. Tanya 8

    Isn’t it typical of the super-rich making life harder for those struggling to make ends meet? I agree. Shame on Key. So what about his state-house background, where is the empathy now? National get ever more tougher, why did I ever think that Key would be different? Corporate blokes are all the same.

  9. tsmithfield 9

    In order to make it easier to get a job it is also necessary to make it easier to lose a job. Employment decisions are huge risks for employers. If those risks can be reduced they are more likely to employ people. So, if those on the left are opposing the extension of the 90 day rule they are implying that they really don’t want to make it easier for people to get jobs. I challenge anyone to put up a cogent argument that demonstrates this to be untrue.

    Another point to be remembered is that even if people do lose their jobs within the 90 day period, due to the more liberated employment market they will find it much easier to get another one.

    • Bill 9.1

      Where exactly is the risk for a boss in employing someone?

      You saying bosses are irredeemably thick and are unable to subject an under preforming new worker to a reasonable process that will either a) result in an under performing or unsatisfactory worker coming up to scratch or b) result in the dismissal of an under performing or unsatisfactory worker?

      You saying that?

      Or do you think that some bosses might find the immunity offered them by the 90 day bill attractive? Just a little? And if that’s the case, then why? Why would a boss find immunity attractive, unless they intended to abuse standards of common decency and fairness or thought themselves incapable of discerning such standards and so in need of protection from their own inadequacy?

      • tsmithfield 9.1.1

        Bill, have you ever been in the position of making hiring decisions?

        • infused

          Obviously not. You can never predict what some of these guys will do.

        • IrishBill

          More times than most. And I’ve always used thorough and careful process while hiring and always acted in good faith. I’m pleased to say I’ve also never had an employment relationship go bad.

          When managers fail to apply tax law or purchasing policy correctly we don’t change the rules to match their ineptitude. Why should we with employment?

          This isn’t about protecting businesses, it’s not even about protecting managers from their own stupidity. This is about weakening work rights and thus weakening bargaining power so companies can reduce their pay rolls.

          A one percent real reduction in wages across the board is worth a little under a billion dollars across the whole economy. That’s a billion dollars in the hands of business and out of the hands of wage and salary earners.

          I’d just about consider donating to national for a decent slice of that.

          • tsmithfield

            Fair enough, Irish. I respect the fact that you have practical experience to back up your argument.

            I am an Organisational Psych involved with quite a lot of employment projects for various companies. My focus is on getting the best fit between the individual and the demands of the job, team dynamics, organisational culture etc.

            Its not a perfect science. Even with best processes the hit rate is not going to 100%. However, its that occasional bad choice that can cause major problems and costs for an organisation in terms of disharmony in the team, lost productivity etc.

            The cost of getting it wrong can be very high. A fact that many employers realise, and the reason why they use people like myself to help minimise their risks. So, if there is legislation that further minimises their risks then they are more likely to take people on.

            • The Voice of Reason

              TS, the kind of work you do is usually for professional level appointments. I don’t suppose you get to see the contracts offered as a result of your insights, but if you do, can you tell us how many of them had 90 day fire at will clauses? I’m picking fuck all, because this law is aimed at average income earners and those below, not the people you deal with.

              BTW, like Irish I’ve got some experience in hiring. And firing, for that matter. It’s not easy getting it right and sometimes you may as well ask Paul the Octopus, but it’s hard to go past the rubic that past behaviour is a good indicator of future behaviour. Check the CV, ring the referees. It’s not hard, folks. If an employer gets it wrong in their choice, there are relatively cheap options available to exit someone, before they do real damage. There’s free, confidential mediation available as well from the Labour Department, who do this sort of thing day in, day out.

              This removal of a fundamental right should be opposed. It’s simply not of any use, except to casualise the jobs of good, hardworking kiwis.

        • Bill

          You ever answered a straight forward question? Was my comment too convoluted? Or was it too pertinent? Which?

          To answer your question. Yes. I’ve been in the position of making hiring decisions. What was the point of the question? If I hadn’t been in that position, but only dealt with firings and those from a worker’s perspective, do you think my comment or opinion would have been invalidated?

          From the evidence you provide some might be persuaded that you have never really moved beyond the ‘My dad’s bigger than your dad’ b/s school of argument. But I digress.


          Are you paranoid? Sounds like it.

          • tsmithfield

            The reason for the question was that I wanted to get some idea if you had experience in this area or not.

            As I mentioned in my response to Irish no employment process is flawless no matter how good it is. The cost of getting it wrong can be enormously high even if it only happens occasionally. So any change to employment law that reduces that risk to employers is likely to result in them hiring more staff. Read my response to Micky below as well.

            • IrishBill

              Being in business means taking risks. No risk means no reward. You seem to want the reward without the risk. If I invest in an enterprise I do due diligence and if it goes tits up I take my licks. What I don’t do is go running to the government to ask for them to make someone else pay for my poor decisions or my poor management. Why should investing in labour be any different?

            • Bill

              “As I mentioned in my response to Irish no employment process is flawless no matter how good it is.”

              So, no employment process is flawless. Okay. So how flawed in comparison is no process? Because that’s what ‘Fire at Will’ is. An complete absence of process.

              But we’re all good with relaxing legislative constraints around business practice, whether in relation to labour’s rights or environmental protection or rules and regulations around finance, ’cause the pesky rules and regulations just get in the way. And leaders of business have shown us again and again what a truly fine bunch they are and have demonstrated over and over that they really can be counted on to pathologically, sociologically and simply take care of business, no matter what.

            • Puddleglum

              TS, let’s pretend for a while that the 90 day legislation is not about pushing the balance of power in the workplace towards employers. Let’s pretend it’s all about giving those workers ‘a chance’, ‘an opportunity’ who, otherwise, would have been ‘too risky’ to hire.

              Now, as an Organisational Psychologist you’ll appreciate that the result of the 90 day bill on employer decision making would be to nudge any employer towards a less careful (i.e., thorough) process of hiring. That’s the other – less euphemistic – side of the ‘giving the potential worker an opportunity’ coin. This would accord with the behaviour change that would be predicted by many economists and psychologists, of course. If a behaviour is less costly it’s more likely to be emitted.

              That means, even if there was no deliberate policy of hiring people in order to dismiss them again by any employer, we would still expect an increase in the rate of early dismissals because the selection process would be less rigorous (it would make less ‘bottom line’ sense to go through a thorough process when the costs of making a mistake are lower – which they must be if it has been made less ‘risky’ to hire, as you claim the legislation does.).

              For example, while they currently usually use an organisational psychologist perhaps they no longer would, post-90 day law. After all, the legislation reduces the risk so there is less reason to mitigate the risk through expensive hiring processes. Of course, you could respond that all that does is trim an unnecessary cost for employers (i.e., organisational psychologists add no value to the selection process), which is no doubt an argument that could be made.

    • TS

      In order to make it easier to get a job it is also necessary to make it easier to lose a job

      The number of jobs in the economy is related to the amount of economic activity, not how easy or hard it is to fire someone. All that you do with measures like the 90 day fire at will bill is change who is holding the jobs, and drive wages down.

      If there is work to do then employers will still hire someone.

      • tsmithfield 9.2.1

        Not necessarily Micky.

        What is often the experience after a major recession is that firms who have downsized suddenly find they can actually manage with less staff, although it might be difficult. Since they are managing, although perhaps with difficulty, there can be a reluctance to make employment decisions. Firms might look at taking on temporary workers or increasing overtime for existing workers rather than making permanent appointments due to worries about double dip recessions etc.

        I think this 90 day bill will have the effect of making it easier to make more permanent employment decisions because employers will know that they are committing to employment costs that can easily be reversed if things go pear-shaped again.

        • mickysavage

          Firms might look at taking on temporary workers or increasing overtime for existing workers rather than making permanent appointments due to worries about double dip recessions etc.

          Overtime is always a preference for employers. A temporary worker is exactly the same as a permanent worker that has effectively a temporary job because of the 90 day trial period.

          How about showing a correlation between employment and the 90 day bill. Joblessness has gone up since this Government gained power.

          • tsmithfield

            I disagree that there is a complete correlation between temporary workers and workers employed under the 90 day bill. Temporary workers tend to come and go depending on the current work demands and may work for a wide variety of firms within a short time-frame. They are often preferred by firms who are experiencing fluctuating demand that does not justify a permanent placement, or where the environment is too uncertain for a permanent placement.

            Employees employed under the 90 day bill are likely to be hired due to the fact that there is a steady enough workload to justify the permanent placement.

            Unemployment had gone up due to the recession. However, I seem to remember a rather startling drop in unemployment earlier on in the year. Perhaps this was in part due to the 90 day bill.

            • The Voice of Reason

              But it’s not a permanent placement, TS. That’s the nub of it, right there. For ninety days, the new worker is anything but permanent.

              • tsmithfield

                Reduce the risk for employers and they will be more likely to employ people. Hopefully that employment will become permanent at 90 days.

                • IrishBill

                  Why is is that tories have such great difficulty dealing with macro-economic policies? Perhaps you can answer a few simple questions, tsmith;

                  Do you accept that a 90 day “probation” period effectively removes all work rights for that worker for that period? If not, why not?

                  Assuming you do accept that removal of rights, do you accept that removing all work rights from all new workers for three months reduces bargaining power across the work force? If not, why not?

                  Assuming you do accept that reduction in bargaining power, do you accept that this would suppress wages? If not, why not?

                  • tsmithfield

                    I have to say I probably agree with you in some respects. However, as I said there are two sides to the coin though. If you want greater employment then the level of risk needs to drop for the employer.

                    I disagree that it removes all workers rights though. For instance they are still entitled to holidays, to work without fear of discrimination on the grounds of race, sex etc.

                    I also think that any change that results in more jobs becoming available will reduce workers bargaining power to some extent. Its called the law of supply and demand.

                    Let me ask you a question.

                    Lets assume some unscrupulous employer takes someone on for three months and then sacks them at the end of the period.

                    1. They would have gained some valuable work experience to take to another job.
                    2. If they have performed well they will probably get a good reference.
                    3. They would have earned more for that period than they would have if they were unemployed before taking on the job.
                    4. They would have gained some valuable insight into some particular occupation that might be new to them.

                    Seems like a win-win all round to me.

                    • tsmithfield

                      Just to correct a point I made above. I said: “I also think that any change that results in more jobs becoming available will reduce workers bargaining power to some extent. Its called the law of supply and demand.”

                      Of course this is completely around the wrong way. If the new law results in more employers seeking employees then the law of supply and demand will actually work in favour of employees.

                    • Pete

                      Hi TS,

                      1. They would have gained some valuable work experience to take to another job.

                      Having employed a few people in my time, unless you’re a contract worker three-month stints look odd on a CV, and start alarm bells ringing. The experience may well be there, but I would have cause to doubt at the outset. If a reference does not exist to explain this period of time I would not consider them as highly as other candidates without this issue.

                      2. If they have performed well they will probably get a good reference.

                      A good reference following a sacking at the hands of an unscrupulous employer? Doesn’t make sense. Also, is the employee likely to feel in the position that they can even request said reference from the employer, after a scking (and for a variety of reasons they may or may not be told about) – unlikely.

                      3. They would have earned more for that period than they would have if they were unemployed before taking on the job.

                      That is true, but they could also earn more if they are allowed to contest their employment if the unscrupulous employer is letting them go for a spurious reason, or not giving them any.

                      4. They would have gained some valuable insight into some particular occupation that might be new to them.

                      Also true, but same principle above. Also, given that it’s an unscrupulous employer we’re talking about, that could well lead the employee away from that particular occupation, potentially a lose-lose.

                      All-in-all, not looking good for the employee or the good employers (lost potential).

                      And besides which, it’s unlikely that these employees (after being sacked) will want to parade around highlighting their poor situation, as this could well lead to them being shunned as a ‘stirrer’ by future potential employers (good and bad – why go for a potentially ‘hard’ option?).

                • The Voice of Reason

                  Excellent. We’ll leave it up to hope then, shall we? That’s a great basis for removing rights from tens of thousands of people. Ah, well, at least you’re not aspirational. That’d be just plain silly.

          • luva

            “Joblessness has gone up since this Government gained power.”

            Due to the worst global recession in a generation.

            Do not even try to blame this on a New Zealand government. If you want to play that game tell us who was the PM when joblessness began rising and then tell us who was the PM when joblessness began falling…..

  10. Tanya 10

    The employers already have it all their way, ever since the much-loathed Employment Contracts Act.. That was a National party policy, was it not?

  11. Our business has made a couple of of bad hires, and it is a frustrating situation all round. Because we employ more than 20 staff, we weren’t eligible to participate in the 90-day probation programme, but we would certainly consider it going forward.

    The staff we employ are well qualified and well paid, but not everyone fits in. Hiring is a significant financial investment for us, as well as an investment in human capital. We want to get it right, and we want the people we hire to feel that we have got it right as well. To have an “out” that could be exercised either way would be beneficial.

    • IrishBill 11.1

      but not everyone fits in

      Care to elucidate what not fitting in entails?

      • Inventory2 11.1.1

        With pleasure. Our staff enjoy a significant degree of autonomy, and a lot of their work is done in their homes. For those who are used to working in a team environment, it can be something of a culture shock. We try to cover that at interview, but as you will doubtless be aware, interviews aren’t perfect (for both employer and employee), and it’s not until the staff member starts that the sense of isolation can kick in. Other staff find it difficult to maintain the required level of discipline when working autonomously. It’s something that sets our business apart from others in our sector. Having an “opt-out period” could be helpful for both parties.

        • IrishBill

          It sounds like a matter that could be very easily dealt with a performance management framework. If there are measurables then all you need to do is make them performance indicators and review them regularly.

          Rather than having to go through the hiring process again and again until you find a fit for the job you may find that reviewing the reasons your employee isn’t achieving their targets gives you the chance for them to find ways to deal with those reasons – either by giving them ways to fix their problems that have been derived from your experience and the experience of your other employees or by highlighting problems with your work structure that could be fixed.

          If you performance review properly you’ll often find structural problems that you can fix and often fixing these problems increases productivity across all staff – even those who are already performing.

          Of course you could just keep churning through staff until you find enough people that can deal with your sub-optimal systems. But that costs them and it costs you as well.

          • IrishBill

            And I should point out that continual failure to meet performance management targets set and monitored in good faith is already grounds for dismissal. A 90 day no-rights period, on the other hand, adds nothing but the chance to sack somebody because you don’t like their religion.

          • Inventory2

            Churning through staff is the last thing we want. We want, and value stability, and we want to employ staff who will be there for the long haul. By and large, we have succeeded, but it’s the exceptions who prove the rule; that making good HR decisions is pivotal to business success.

            • IrishBill

              If you make good HR decisions why would you want to give away the competitive advantage you have over your competitors who can’t make good HR decisions?

            • McFlock

              You don’t want to churn through staff, but you’d rather fire someone and hire a new employee than actually manage the staff you employed three months before?


              • loota

                McFlock, I am getting the irrepressible feeling that these NACT supporters are not as good at running businesses as they make out.

                captcha: red

                • fraser

                  yes – considering they dont seem to have the smarts to offer a 3 month contract with an option to review to full time at the end.

                  granted, there might be industries where this doesnt work out – but its what my boss did and still does – everyone knows the score and no surprises – all without legislating away anyones rights to natural justice

                  So if the above is possible – what are the real reaosns for persuing the 90 days probation law?

    • tsmithfield 11.2

      Inventory, you might like to have a look at this test It is one of the best employment tests I have come across in terms of bang for buck. It costs $100 per go and is well worth the cost. I use it a lot myself in my own business.

  12. infused 12

    I took a punt and hired someone under the 90 day trial period. I wouldn’t have done it otherwise. Employees can kill a growing small business and this bill is excellent. The guy is now there on his 7th month.

    Looking to employee someone else soon too. You guys are morons if you think this bill is attacking workers rights. I say morons because if you actually did some research, you’d find a lot of business wouldn’t have employed someone without this 90 trial period.

    • Galeandra 12.1

      Bollocks. You took a punt…! Like, you buy lotto as your business plan? You’re a washed out Tory fantasist.

      • infused 12.1.1

        I didn’t take a punt on the type of worker I got, I took a punt where I didn’t have quite enough money to cover him. If I had got someone who turned sour, that wouldn’t have done good things to my business. Stop being a jerk.

        • IrishBill

          So you’re saying you employed someone without knowing if you could pay them? And you want the law to help you out with that?

          What else would you like the law to do? Cover your arse when you buy a house you don’t know you can meet the mortgage on? Perhaps you’d like the law changed to make someone else pay when you lose money on the stockmarket too?

          You’ve effectively admitted you want to take a financial risk for your own gain but you want the cost of that risk placed on the person you employ. That’s a serious personal responsibility fail.

        • fraser

          why couldnt you offer a 3 month fixed contract to try them out?

          not shit stirring – im really interested in why this isnt possible

    • Joel Walsham 12.2

      I am sorry ‘Infused’, but that is nothing but bullshit. So lets say that you are going to hire someone, if they are NOT DOING THEIR JOB, then there is due process with dealing with that. Because, guess what (this may be news to some wingnuts) you COULD in fact dismiss workers before this legislation, but they actually had to be doing something wrong.

      If they are truly not able to perform the job that they are supposed to do, then there is due process that is fair for everyone and makes sure that there are checks and balances. My family owns a business as well. There is no reason for the fire at will act and the defense from the right and business is complete and utter crap, because it is not impossible to dismiss a worker without this legislation, the only difference is that under a fair piece of legislation, there would have to be a REASON for dismissal otherwise we live in a savage world.

      Your whole argument is faulty and shows how ignorant you of the right really are.

  13. prism 13

    But any employer is a moron if he/she doesn’t see that there is a downside for employees. If an employee tries and still gets put off around the 90 days, then looks for another job, and the same thing happens it would become soul-destroying. And what if your boss gropes you? What if he/she swears at you regularly?

    What if they promise you certain hours and wages, and then when you start, deny that or just declare they want different hours and you have home responsibilities, children etc which can’t be fitted in with the new conditions?

  14. ak 14

    Ahhhh. Universal Fire at Will.

    The icy hand of NACT finally gropes at the heart and soul of every single worker – just as employment anxiety ramps up. Manna from heaven for Labour (witness the heavy breathing here from the resident stormtroupe – “Employers love it!” Gold.)

    Fire Anyone at Will. On the cusp of a trough, rising unemployment, and an election.

    Almost as good as Bulldoze the Bush and Kill Auckland Democracy.

    Seriously: thanks, John.

  15. Bill 15

    S’cuse my ignorance, but what exactly are Victory Fund allocations?

    And why are they + levies the only funds going to the Nats? Wouldn’t be that the right has been indulging in a bit of a Mexican stand off with itself would it?

    So, Big Business has been withholding the dosh and Johnny Boy has been resisting payment to the piper because..? Is he unsure whether he can contain any potential backlash from this move to tilt wage bargaining power way over in favour of big business?

    How much does anyone reckon this latest move is worth to business? And how much of what it’s worth will backwash into Nat coffers?

    Bloody good innit?

    I….and how many others in the present labour market churn?… get to subsidise big business donations to the Nats by 100% through Johnny Boy trashing our capacity to bargain wage increases through 90 Days ‘Fire at Will’ and diminishing union access rights.

    Not. Fucking. Happy.


    • IrishBill 15.1


      • Bill 15.1.1

        You telling me Victory Fund Allocations are the proceeds from housie?

        Hmm. A wee element of doubt in great big tackety boots is kind of clumping across my mind on that one Irish.

  16. M 16

    Makes me wonder where all those poor deluded souls are now that were hailing ‘Time for a Change’ Johnny. One of the first hits to average and below average wage earners were microscopic tax cuts plus an increase in the ACC worker levy which either reduced net take home pay or make no discernable difference.

    Big bruv feels it’s his duty to label women slappers who need to call on state assistance because they are in difficult situation – I don’t begrudge them the money because at the end of the day all you’re doing is hurting children, and let’s face it we all call on the state at some time be it doctors’ subsidies or a trip to A & E for a broken arm or a pension, but hey maybe that’s what it takes for some guy to crack a fat.

    I certainly hope you do not seek the company of women because if you can so casually insult women in general one day you’ll do it to a woman in particular. Let’s hope your dance card is never filled.

  17. Defend workers’ rights to organise. Day of rage at the Tory Party conference at Sky City on Sunday

  18. Jum 18

    When you have two or more jobs to choose from and you choose one, only to be let go within 90 days the other two jobs have gone. Then there is the stand down period…

    Cheap labour, desperate labour; it’s all coming to pass, yet nobody believed the young media man who quoted John Key as saying “we’d love to see wages drop”.

    Yeah, where are all those ‘time for a change’ lightweights?

  19. loota 19

    What fraks my head is why National is still being backed by over half the population despite all of this. What exactly is going on.

    • Zorr 19.1

      What are the other viable options? Only remotely viable one I am seeing really is a modern day Guy Fawkes (with a little more success thrown). Our current system allows us a choice between Phil The Gaps Goff and Jonkey. Wonderful.


    Sunday, 18 July 2010
    10:00 – 13:00
    Sky City Hotel, Auckland CBD


  21. John 21

    John key has conformed to his job description from the corporate and other big business interests and has passed his 90 day trial period otherwise he would have been turfed out like Kevin Rudd was who had the nerve to want to tax the mining companies at 40%. Bye Bye Rudd.

  22. Pete 22

    big bruv ->”The only disappointing thing from my point of view is that Key has not actually realised how much support he has out here for a more aggressive attack on the bludgers, if he was to take an axe to long term dole bludgers and the previously mentions DPB slappers he would be amazed at how much support he would have among middle NZ.”

    big bruv->”What it has done is give business owners the confidence to take a chance on somebody in tough times, because of that hundreds (if not thousands) of Kiwis are now in work.”

    And you forgot to remind us its already helped create a rise in crime rates of 4.6 percent http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1004/S00030.htm

    And likely to get a whole lot worse even yet soon , big bruv.Some mighty fine management, cut a few people from benefits,and end up paying mega more ! for to keep them in jails.

    Well done big bruv.

    But big business wont have to pay much for it,atleast not after they shuffle their books and diddle the tax.It will be middle New Zealanders footing the biggest bill .That is if they can even afford to stay here,rather than jumping the ditch and heading to Australia in biger droves than they already are.

  23. Jenny 23

    Accessing the latest unemployment figures available, shows that there has been a drop in unemployment from 7.1% at the beginning of the year to 6%.

    So we are poised to witness if these latest Neo-Liberal reforms proposed for the labour market will see a reversal in this trend.

    And if they do?

    Will National admit their mistake, and repeal this legislation?

    I doubt it, because despite what they say, this scum have no real common interest with grass roots Kiwis, and are only interested in increasing the profit margins and income of the elite.

    National’s talk about bringing in these reforms for the benefit of creating jobs will be exposed as a dirty lie when as a consequence the currently falling unemployment rate imediatly shoots up again.

    New Zealand Latest Unemployment Figures

    • Gosman 23.1

      How will making it more attractive to business to hire people increase the unemployment figures exactly?

      Please expand on how the proposed changes will mean more people will lose their jobs.

      Also are people aware that the UK already has had a variation of this 90-Day law in place and have had for a long time. I don’t see the British Labour Unions and Party up in arms about it do you?

      • Jenny 23.1.1

        Being able to sack new starts for no reason at all will not increase the amount of jobs, only casualise the ones that are available.

        This measure has nothing to do with job creation, but all to do with using the recession as an excuse to put the boot in.

        Reality will be the real measure of the success, or lack of, of any jobs created.

        As I said, We are poised to witness if these neo-liberal reforms will reverse the trend of falling unemployment.

        My bet is this measure will result in even fewer full time jobs created than the miraculous cycle way.

  24. graham 24

    I am a employer useing the 90 day law.It isn’t a right to fire as some have surggested in order to release them from employment you have to have a reason.The catch with that is you also have to inform them before the 90 day period of their faults so the have time to fix them.I do a review 60 days in point out stengths and weakness and tell them where they need to be in order to have full time employment.That is the way the law is written.
    in short if on day 90 you fire someone without prior warning you can still be done for unfair dismissial

    • Gosman 24.1


      Graham I’m not sure if the members of The Standard want your type on this blog. I mean posting facts about the reality of the law rather than just scaremongering theoretically worst case scenarios is just crazy talk.

      • mickysavage 24.1.1

        I can assure you Gosman that the comments I see from the progressives on this website are almost invariably based on reality.

        How about this for an unfortunate fact?

        Setion 67B of the Employment Relations Act 2000 says the following:

        67B Effect of trial provision under section 67A
        (1) This section applies if an employer terminates an employment agreement containing a trial provision under section 67A by giving the employee notice of the termination before the end of the trial period, whether the termination takes effect before, at, or after the end of the trial period.
        (2) An employee whose employment agreement is terminated in accordance with subsection (1) may not bring a personal grievance or legal proceedings in respect of the dismissal.

        Seems pretty definate to me. Graham’s suggestion sounds like a responsible civilised approach but it is not the law.

    • IrishBill 24.2

      Um, that’s not at all how the law is written. It’s in the DoL recommendations but there are no legislated criteria for what constitutes a review. Nor is there any legal requirement to state the reason for dismissal. Which means that while in theory a dismissal grievance could be taken during a trial period, in practice it is impossible as an unfair dismissal action is pointless if the grounds for dismissal cannot be established.

  25. Gosman 25

    ‘I can assure you Gosman that the comments I see from the progressives on this website are almost invariably based on reality.’

    If they are rooted in reality can you explain how this law will lead to an increase in unemployment, as some claim?

  26. If they are rooted in reality can you explain how this law will lead to an increase in unemployment, as some claim?

    Why the FCUK should workers have to come up with analysis to protect what used to be basic protections. How about when a Government decides to trample on these basic riughts they come up with a strong robust fact based justification for it.

    What hard analysis have you seen from this lot? Zip, nil, narda, none. Oh but a couple of employers have said that they feel more comfortable if they regain what they thought was their god given right to fire at will.

    This logic is appalling. If it makes more jobs then why not have fire at will for 12 months after, or 2 years, or for ever. After all can employers ever have too much of a good thing?

    I an say that since the introduction of this bill unemployment, particularly that amongst young workers has shot up.

    So can you prove it is working?

    • loota 26.1

      While India and China are pushing the wages of their citizens upwards and increasing the skills and education of their workforce to match new global demands, the NACTs have decided that the way ahead is to take us backwards towards the lower wage and working conditions they use in those countries.

      Sheeeesh this Government is just brilliant

      mickysavage, of course you now that NACT in power will do whatever it wants to do regardless, and construct the evidence for their policies post mortem.

      • Gosman 26.1.1

        You have evidence of course that this type of policy leads to lower wages?

        What does the UK experience on this suggest? Does the UK have lower wages than other nations because of a similar law being in place for a long time?

    • Gosman 26.2

      ‘Why the French Connection UK should workers have to come up with analysis to protect what used to be basic protections’???

      Perhaps the better question is why you think employers shouldn’t be entitled to a period of time to decide if someone is actually able to do the job and fits in with the workplace before they are locked into a mountain of beaurecratic red tape to try and exercising what should be their fundamental right of not paying someone they don’t want to.

      • mcflock 26.2.1

        “Mountain of beaurecratic red tape”?
        Only a mountain for managers who aren’t competent at managing. In which case it should be the manager who is fired, not the employee.

        • Gosman

          Spoken like a true statist.

          Bad business owners will tend to be found out in the long run as their business will fail.

          Bad employees on the other hand can be protected in a job by silly laws causing a lot of problems.

          • mcflock

            How unreasonable is it to expect a competent manager?

            Bad managers can blame their staff, the economy, the market, and so on, jump before they are pushed and use their failed experience in their CV for the next overpaid job. I’ve seen them do it.

            Bad employees get fired in the long run if their manager is at all competent. If they have a GOOD manager, usually they become a good employee or disappear in the very short run.

            I’ve seen good managers and bad managers. The performance management process doesn’t have to be rocket science. It just needs to be applied.

    • graham 26.3

      As an employer it is drumed into by lawyers,advisers etc that the process has to be fair.i cant sack some one for being stupid,lazy,a drug addict or even a theif it is my job under the law to give them enough chances to get to the required level.Also i cant give a warning today then sack tomorrow not only must it be fair it must be seen to be fair
      or else i have to payout money to ex staff

      • mcflock 26.3.1

        yeah Graham, you should be able to unfairly dismiss somebody. Fairness is such a difficult thing to achieve for many employers, why should they have to bother?

        Employers like you are why we NEED workers’ rights included in employment law.

  27. OleOlebiscuitBarrell 27

    Despite widespread claims of an impending employment law holocaust (charter for sexual harassment! employes on rolling 90 day periods!) the existing 90 probation law seems to have created few problems. Had it, I am sure we would have had a slew of posts highlighting the problem here. I suspect it has created few problems because despite the overblown claims that employers want to employ people to see how much humiliation they can heap upon them, what employers actually want is someone who can do the work they have that needs doing. Sacking an employee for the hell of it is just not usually in an employer’s best interests.

    • loota 27.1

      Great, your point is not that this change is going to benefit workers – which of course it won’t unless you call being stripped of your rights a ‘benefit’ – its that these changes won’t be completely horrendous.

      Sure, you sold me on it. Next.

      • OleOlebiscuitBarrell 27.1.1

        Ooh, sarcasm. Don’t you just love it?

        which of course it won’t unless you call being stripped of your rights a ‘benefit’

        Only if you don’t count actually having a job as a benefit.

        See, I can do it too. I’d do anything to be like you. But I suspect you knew that.


        • Gosman

          Apparently for many leftists they only want jobs for people if it is on their strict terms. They would prefer people to be unemployed for the sake of a principle over ‘workers rights’.

          This is cool with me but it would be nice to see a little honesty from the left. They should come out an state ‘We would prefer some high-minded ideal rather than having people in jobs earning money for themselves’.

  28. Olwyn 28

    Put this announcement alongside Phil O’Reilly’s rejection of Clare Curran’s procurement members bill. The idea seems to be, if you SMEs want to survive you have to get out there and compete in the big bad world, and don’t expect any favours from us. But as compensation you can take out your wrath on your workers and their unions. It looks to me like an attempt to assure the SMEs that they are batting for the same team as the multi-national corporations by offering the worker as the shared enemy. Never mind the fact that it is the multi-national corporation rather than the worker that is in the position to destroy a SME, almost at whim.

    • Tiger Mountain 28.1

      Well put Olwyn, apologies for my reply to Gman appearing under your comment.

    • Gosman 28.2

      Clare Curran’s procurement members bill – Leftists wanting to pick winners once again.

      • Olwyn 28.2.1

        Your slogan does not address my point at all. In fact, for the time being at least, what is at stake for SMEs is much the same as what is at stake for the workers – the continued existence of a “real economy” in this country. However, every effort is made to convince SMEs that workers are the problem.

        • Gosman

          No, the problem is state interference in the workings of private businesses.

          Clare Curran’s bill and opposition to an extension of the 90 Day trial period are just symptoms of this wider problem.

  29. Tiger Mountain 29

    Well Gosman, along with a strange urge to suggest you gfy, I can offer the following:
    • since the introduction of 90 day no work rights at under 20 employee sites, youth unemployment is way up as is adult unemployment. Labour had it down to the 3% range. It is back up to 6-7%
    • The proposed extension of 90 day no work rights to all workers could only be enacted in a period of high unemployment, otherwise it would not be a runner, as per the Nats previous ECA, 1990-99
    • Mass casualisation, revolving employment/unemployment, non permanent jobs, management by fear and stress all help create a dangerously precarious labour market
    • It negates natural justice”your day in court’ in everyway imaginable and for what purpose? To comprehensively shift the balance of power in employment relationships to employers.
    • Union rights are human rights, restricting access for union reps to workplaces affects freedom of association

    The good news possibly is any new law will apply to “change’ voters and tories too, so a whole new crowd will get to experience what Johnnie and the hollow men are really all about.

    • Gosman 29.1

      Perhaps you missed it but there was a little matter of a global recession going on at the same time. That might have something to do with the increase in the unemployment rate.

      I could equally argue that the abolishing of the youth minimum wage had something to do with the increase in youth unemployment but it would be just as baseless at this point in time.

      • Tiger Mountain 29.1.1

        Recession is a polite term to describe what the rest of us have to endure when finance capital gets caught with fingers in the till again. I made no direct causal link between unemployment stats and the the 90 day no work rights.

        Re youth rates: a 2004 Treasury Treasury working paper in 2004 (1) found that a 69% increase in the minimum wage for 18 and 19 year olds in 2001 and a 41% increase in the minimum wage for 16 and 17 year-olds over a two year period had no adverse effects on youth employment or hours worked. In fact hours of work increased for 16-17 year olds relative to other age groups.

        • Gosman

          Why did you make a link at all then?

          Don’t try and claim that the following statement you made wasn’t either because that would be disingenuous.

          ” since the introduction of 90 day no work rights at under 20 employee sites, youth unemployment is way up as is adult unemployment. Labour had it down to the 3% range. It is back up to 6-7%”

  30. Sanctuary 30

    How is reducing worker’s rights going to close the wage gap with Australia?

  31. Santi 31

    Excellent news.

  32. Carol 32

    Very good discussion of this on Nine-to-Noon just finished. Check it out when it goes online.

    There’s some anecdotal evidence that the 90 Day law has been abused, but people are reluctant to go public & put their names to complaints. This includes an email to Morning Report, picked up by Kathryn Ryan: mother says her son has been employed in successive jobs on the 90 Day law, given a report on progress at about day 70, then let go at day 90. On one job, his mate got hired after him for the same job, and was similar story of being let go at day 90.

    Also discussion of accumulation of attacks on labour laws, undermining of workers rights & comparisons with Aussie and its stronger labour laws. And questions raised about whether big business employers, with extensive HR systems need to 90 day law as they keep good checks on their employees performance.

    • Gosman 32.1

      Why are people reluctant to put their names to complaints?

      If it has been abused then the people who have been at the receiving end are no longer in the employ of the employer who did the abusing.

      If you can’t put up specific examples of abuse then it is all just anecdotal heresay of little standing.

      • just saying 32.1.1

        Because being known to be a “complainer” harms a person’s future employment prospects.

      • Carol 32.1.2

        Some of them are being dealt with and supported by an organisation that supports workers (forget which it is). But they don’t want to have their names mentioned in public or talk to the media because they feel it will affect their future employment prospects, by getting labelled as a troublesome employee who complains about their boss.

        Most, except for the mother who sent the email, are being supported by an organisation that supports workers – some legal complaints are being made. But none of the compainants want to go public because it might prejudice other employers against them.

        Go listen to the audiofile when it comes on line and make up your own mind. The supporters of the law (eg guy for employers) said the law was working well.


        • Gosman

          I don’t know. They could still get a job in the public sector or the Labour/Green party ;-).

          I love how members of the left make out that we live in a country like North Korea where speaking out automatically means you will be blacklisted.

          You do realise the vast majority of employers out there are not the monstrous ogre’s of your socialist childhood fairy tales don’t you?

          • Carol

            The laws are meant to deal with the more exceptional cases.

            And you also do realise that the majority of workers, or potential workers are not bludgers and low-lifes that need draconian, authoritarian state measures to be kept in control?

            Good worker-employer relations are more productive.

            And these are the people that were interviewed by Kathryn Ryan:
            09:05 Extension of the 90 day worker trial period

            Peter Townsend, Chief Executive of the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerc.

            09:20 Peter Conway, secretary of the Council of Trade Unions and John Hannan, partner at DLA Phillips Fox and employment law specialist.

            Townsend was really positive about the 90 Day law. Conway talked about the 10 approx cases they have been dealing with, or know of, who feel the law was used against them unfairly.

            • Gosman

              Most potential workers aren’t bludgers and low-lifes it is true. But then again some people are just not suited, for whatever particular reason, to a workplace.
              allowing a time period to enable the employer to find this out is not draconian. As stated the UK has had this for a number of years now.

              The Left seems to believes that workers have some God given right to work and the employer should have little rights in determining who and how much of his money he pays. The right doesn’t think that the only people with rights are workers.

      • prism 32.1.3

        Not all have as much time as you have Gosman to pursue their own interests. It takes time and energy to complain, and then further time to pursue the complaint.

        If the person needs a job, which will probably be on low wages, they may not have the time, or they will do a personal cost-benefit analysis ‘Is this going to do me any good? No. I will put my time into trying to find something that will be satisfactory.’

        Or ‘What’s the use – the system is set up so its all right for the employer to kick me, Complaining about it is a waste of time, it’s obvious that this is acceptable to the government and business leaders.’

        • Tiger Mountain

          Yes good angle Prism, personal physcology, we all have one! when you multiply that effect across a population you get consent, which is exactly what the Nats are going for.

    • Anne 32.2

      What I found interesting on Radio NZ’s Nine to Noon discussion:
      during the interview with Peter Conway it transpired that early last year, after the introduction of the 90 Day Bill, John Key gave an undertaking to Conway and Helen Kelly… if there were further changes to be made he would consult with them first. In response to a question from Kathryn Ryan he agreed that as a result of this broken promise (how many broken promises have there been now?) the relationship between the CTU and John Key has been badly damaged – beyond repair I should think!

      So much for the “nice John Key who always keeps his word”.

  33. ak 33

    The misery and abuse that will flow to the most vulnerable from this draconian rape of hard-won fundamental human rights will be incalculable.

    Accept that there is now no fourth estate, and recall how you shut the door on the rape of our environment.

    Now slam it hard on slavery.

    Do it for your kids. And for those who gave you life.

    Reclaim it this Sunday from the rats in their temple of mammon.

    At this all-out assault on the weakest,

    Those who are capable,


    Or forever rue your chance.

    • OleOlebiscuitBarrell 33.1

      The misery and abuse that will flow to the most vulnerable from this draconian rape of hard-won fundamental human rights will be incalculable.

      Might have been a little more persuasive if the claims that the world would end on adoption of the probationary period for 20 employee firms had not proved to be quite so overblown.

  34. Gosman 34



    Really? You really think this thing is incalculable? Is this because we don’t currently collect statistics on this sort of thing or because it will be so bad our economy will just implode like it was hit by a blackhole?

    Noone could accuse you of hyperbole could they.

    And people wonder why the left is so far behind in the polls at the moment.


    • Lanthanide 34.1

      Incalcuable because it is hard to put a monetary figure on the disruption and misery this is going to inflict on those being abused by employers, I should think. How much is two sleepness nights worth?

      • Gosman 34.1.1

        You can put a monetary value on anything. They do it all the time, even left winfg policy wonks when discussing the impact of some sort of leftist bête noire on society.

  35. tsmithfield 35

    So lets say the unthinkable happens and someone is hired for three months and then loses their job at the end of the period.

    1. They will have gained valuable experience they can apply in another job.
    2. They will have earned considerably more for that time period than they would have earned on the dole (if they were previously unemployed).
    3. If they have worked well they would undoubtably get a good reference which will help them get another job.
    4. They will be exposed to a potential career that will help them work out where they want to go in life.
    5. They will find it relatively easy to find another job on the 90 day basis.

    So the problem for employees is???

    • When they go for their second job they will in all probability disclose they had been fired from the first job. The second employer will then be less likely to take them on and in a close case this can be the difference between success and failure.

      Their confidence will be wrecked.

      If they are the type that will probably become Unionists they may never get work. The union movement will be gradually weakened and wages and conditions will be eroded.

      And John Key’s dream of equality with Australian living conditions will fade into the sunset.

      • Gosman 35.1.1

        I presume you have evidence of this happening in a lot of cases from where this type of law has been in effect for a while now, say the UK for example?

        • mickysavage

          Nope but I know young people in New Zealand who this has happened to and the effect on them.

          Care again to come up with compelling evidence why we should be doing this?

          And the onus is rightfully on your lot. You should prove that you are not going to trash peoples lives before making these sorts of changes.

          • Gosman

            Rubbish. The reason the government should be expanding the 90 day trial period is to give employers more confidence that they will be able to find someone right for them without the danger of having to be stuck with someone who is inappropriate and that they have to expend a lot of time getting right or getting rid of.

    • The Voice of Reason 35.2

      This does not just apply to people coming off the dole, TS. it applies to anyone changing jobs as well.

      1.Valuable experiance? Yes, of being fired for no good reason.
      2. Most jobs go to people who already have jobs.
      3. A reference? Are you having a laugh? They’ve just been fired, FFS.
      4. Exposure to a career? Which ends in the negative expeeriance of being fired for no reason. Vert uplifting!
      5. Easy to get a new job once you’ve been fired? Yep, and easy to get fired from that one too.

      “So the problem for employees is???”

      This is about casualising the workforce and shifting the risk in an employment situation totally on to one party. The party that already has the least power in the relationship. That’s the problem.

    • ak 35.3

      Oh no problem at all Mr Smithfield. When you explain it like that, I’m sure workers will return from Australia in droves to take up the bounteous glory and advantages of Fire at Will – nay, henceforth will insist on its inclusion in any new job. Good luck with that (and as a suggestion, you might want to push for the inclusion of free board and lodging down on the plantation to complete the rosy picture – and the exclusion of that firebrand Dr King…oh wait, that’s part of this already, isn’t it..)

    • Puddleglum 35.4

      TS, when you produced this same list above, Pete responded with some well thought out comments that negated each point. (below comment…)

      Do you have any responses to his points or are you just repeating this in the hope that some who may not have seen the rebuttals will still be swayed?

  36. michaeljsavage 36

    Its carefully thought out (over decades) social engineering of the worst kind. Most men and women find a sense of self worth in employment. They find dignity and respect from their family and peers if they are employed. For people this is the process …

    Step One

    I am born and then raised and educated – i absorb the social mores of whatever socio economic group i am born into

    Step Two

    I come out of the education system – again – having been the product of whatever socio economic group i was born into and the advantages and disadvantages of that group

    Step Three

    I face either opportunity – or lack of opportunity

    I face either positive avenues of life expression – or negative avenues of life expression

    The outcome of these steps – depends on the Governmental system that assists people to live along the way.

    The outcome of the type of NACT thinking we now see and saw in the business roundtable type elitism of years ago …. is that the ‘working class’ become a huge workforce pool for the Merchant class and the Aristocracy and Ruling Elite. What isnt understood by these social engineers – is that this vast labour pool kept at heel and in need – is composed of real people who feel and breathe and have a need to live life with some hope for the future.

    Or do we now live in the movie the “matrix” … all “tubed in” to feed the machines with our lifeblood and meantime be kept in a perpetual dreamstate by lying politicos and PC filth designed to keep us silent.

    Or are we heading toward being the next low waged pool of workers for the new Asia that we must service, under the Hegemony of China – complete with MPs (some even in the labour party) who are “planted” chinese nationalists possibly on the payroll of Beijing.

    But then – i may well be wrong.

  37. Bill 37

    Welcome to NZ where every worker is compelled to donate to the National Party.

    The Nats have had no donations from big business (follow the links in the post)

    The Nats will now get their reward for finally doing what the ideologues in charge of big business wanted.

    Which was to destroy the capacity of workers to negotiate higher wages. Which means that a proportion of the pay increase you and I will not get goes straight into National Party coffers.

    Think about that the next time Johnny Boy is smiling and waving at you on the box. He’s smiling because he has your money. Literally.

    And his wave may well be a ‘cheers’ of acknowledgement at the meek acceptance of his theft and the general resignation of the population to ever declining standards of living.

    • nilats 37.1

      Every union employee donates to Labour, whether they want too or not. I bet the reason Union Fees are going up are so they can support the supposed workers party more as they are broke.
      At least Nat Party donations are on a volunter basis.

      • Bill 37.1.1

        True, some unions donate to the Labour Party. Not all. And I believe workers should have the right to direct any ‘levy for donation’ to wherever they wish.

        But this is different. This is deliberate and cynical legislation that effectively sees a direct contribution from the vast majority of the work force to Nat coffers.

        Nothing voluntary about it. We have absolutely no choice on the matter. None.

        And we are talking massive sums of money. What’s a 1 or 2% denial of wage increases across a large and expanding percentage of the workforce worth to business? And what will the knock on effects be for other workers and their wage claims? And how much will we be paying the National Party for the favour they just extended to big business?

      • The Voice of Reason 37.1.2

        Bollocks, Nilats. You’ve got it backwards, much like your name. There are some unions that are affiliated to the Labour Party, but it’s a minority. The EPMU, the most well known example, asks its members to indicate whether they want a portion of their fee to go to Labour and the union’s contribution is made on the basis of the percentage of members that want it done. Couldn’t get more democratic and less compulsory than that, eh?

        And who says union fees are going up? What union are you a member of, Nilats? If you don’t like the fee going up, ring the unions freephone number or email and register your protest. Or, just quit. It’s voluntary membership, remember, so you have the power to make your opinion heard, one way or the other.

  38. michaeljsavage 38

    And before someone else ventures it … yes… some people rise to the top despite the circumstances they are born or raised into. They are the cream and more power to them.

    The unfortunate truth … is we cant all be winners – we cant all be the ones who triumph over adversity. The beauty of humanity – is its diversity and the fact that we are our brothers keeper and we do need each other.

    I think that our future as a nation depends on how we look after our whole populace … trickledown theory is akin as quoted by one commentator in the doco “the last resort” “to being pissed on through a blanket…”

    • Gosman 38.1

      Tell that to the Zimbabwean’s who thought they would benefit with a policy of redistribution as advocated by Zanu-PF. They would love “to being pissed on through a blanket ‘ as it would make their miserable existence a little more bearable

      • michaeljsavage 38.1.1

        Gosman – they are being pissed on through a blanket most probably. Mugabe is an ex schoolteacher turned dictator. Evil does what evil does.

        Key is a merchant banker turned bloated social engineer in the vein of the Rothschilds meddling in international finance. The outcomes are roughly the same. You see … he is so wealthy and succussful that he simply cannot understand why others arent to the same level ….”let them eat cake”

        • Gosman


          Your ‘Eat the rich’ envy obsession is a little tiring.

          I find it fascinating how much venom is directed against John Key.

          I presume it is because he is an example of someone who didn’t get rich from inheritence and therefore blows the common view of lefties that the Rich stay rich and get richer, whereas the poor get poorer at their expense.

          I have a feeling you would have preferred he stay down with the rest of the working class.

  39. comedy 39

    NZ politics is fucked !

    160 comments and next to no data on which to base opinion, lets all get our red and blue flags parade about and shout at each other huzzah.

    Bring on global warming to drown us all glug glug glug.

    • Bill 39.1

      Follow the links in the post if you want data.

      The Nats were being starved of corporate donations to make them play ball. Now we all get to pay into the Nat coffers through our ‘donation’ to corporate profit margins brought about by National’s decimation of the legislation that enabled us to negotiate wages and conditions of employment.

    • lprent 39.2

      Yep, and the NACT’s are basing their next policy change on the 90 days on what?

      Anecdotal evidence, where employers are hardly likely to say that they screwed over employees? The lack of grievances from employees where the ability to lodge a grievance was specifically removed? Nope…

      Ideologically based political correctness gone mad perhaps?

      • Gosman 39.2.1

        So both the policy itself and the opposition is based on idealogy.

        The National party is a party of the idealogical right. It will therefore support policies promoting economic freedom for private businesses and individuals. This policy fits that bill quite nicely.

        Next time there is an election you and your leftist mates can try and get enough votes together to get a party of the idealogical left into government and they can start implementing policies that will restrict economic freedom for private businesses and individuals.

        What is the problem here again?

        • Bill

          The problem is that Johnny Boy and his mates didn’t want to do this.

          The problem is that Big Business demanded that this be done before they’d reinstate their National Party donations.

          National are now shitting their pants over the potential backlash and are spinning with their fingers (and everything else) crossed.

          That’s the principle problem right there. And then there is the potential cascade effect for the Nats.

          • george

            Interesting you should say that. The Herald’s notoriously right-wing “your views” is running pro-union at about a 9 to 1 ratio. This is not a policy that people are happy with.

            • Gosman

              Depends on whether people are upset about the restrictions on Union access to workplace (dumb policy if you ask me) or the 90 Day trial period or both.

              I don’t think many people should have a problem with the trial period but they could get rightly annoyed a bit at the restriction on access.

            • Zaphod Beeblebrox

              Probably because they don’t want us to become a nation of Chinese- sweat shops

  40. Maggie 40

    National and ACT screamed blue murder when Maori were denied access to the courts over the seabed and foreshore. Now National plans to deny the same right to thousands of workers.

    ACT will, of course, oppose this policy.

  41. michaeljsavage 41

    Comedy – fair comment – but that is the very point. We arent dealing with a situation that can be based on data – and one cant trust data which has been massaged accordingly anyway.

    Its about people – the recession isnt over – the world economy is still fragile – if politics is ‘fcuked’ as you put it … good – thats at least a start.

    It would pay pollies to not dismiss the various revolutions in the 19th and 20th centuries as antique anachronisms with no relevance to this timeline. There are a lot of average people out there who have had a gutsful of being lied to by all sides of the debate … sidelined into support of ethnic minorities and any other minority that can capture a jaded pollies vote-seeking radar. We’ve all had enough of stupid things being done by highly paid people. I dont care who they are – chris carter swanning around the world at our expense, bill english supplementing his bloated income at our expense, shane jones flogging his log at our expense and on our time, Phil heatley having a great time with wine on our taxpayer tab …. kiwis can forgive them all … because we know we’re all only human … but for Gods sake …. when when when when are Government policies going to be about what is best for the citizens of this country.

    How much time and money is wasted due to the petty stupid politics of all sides of the house. Make a pledge all of you – keep your fat salaries … stay in $100 a night motels or hotels and pay your own way for your wine, private travel and getting nookie while travelling.

    How in gods good name can some of them face their electorates next year without blushing?

    Its disgusting and its shameful.

    No data Comedy – go back to your bloated NACT government and ask them to produce reliable data and fucking well communicate with their Voters and also for a change, consult with the public of NZ

    We all live in the same country – to fucking hell with left, right and fucking centre.

    What about us – the people who live in this country.

    Fuck all of the political bullshit

    • Gosman 41.1

      Viva la revolution Comrades!

      Can’t wait to see the baracades being errected then.


  42. michaeljsavage 42

    And i should have added to the list of MPs wasting time and money … Raymond Huo – an unelected Labour MP – who cruised in due to some idiots placement of him on the “list” (hands up who the moron was who did that) to satisfy an ethnicity quota system … who comes out with stridently Anti Tibet lies and Chinese Govt propaganda – and Pro Chinese Nationalism based sentiments on the Red Alert Labour Party blog.

    This is New Zealand. New Zealanders need their pollies to work for the betterment of New Zealanders.

    Phil Goff had the cojones to shut him down – and to deal to his own party recalcitrants .. what have you done John Key – his answer “oh well – ive enacted measures to make certain that the working class remain subservient to our rightwing agenda…”

    Thanks Mr key – now back to you Connie … this is MJS – Standard News on Skype …

    Now the weather

  43. Pete 43

    Jim Anderton has Sheriff John Keys measure pretty sussed ..”I remember he helped people make a pot of money speculating against the New Zealand dollar in the 1980s, at a cost to New Zealand of $700 million” http://www.progressive.org.nz/latestnews/files/d49e3ee4f15511d176f0d1745b90fbed-148.html

    This National Government isnt for New Zealands future,its about fleecing the country, and then they will move on elsewhere and leave us with the mess.

    And for those here trying to blame the recession “The National government can’t blame the recession. Because at the same time, Australia’s unemployment has dropped to just over 5%.

    How many jobs has John Key’s cycle way created so far? None!

    What about the nine day fortnight? It was meant to save thousands of jobs – but didn’t.”

    In my opinion this 90 day no-rights legislation extention is set up to be used and abused as a type of way to subsidize business .We will very likely see many new employees supposedly not meeting the grade of the employers,these employees will simply be given the quick flick.Creating huge social issues and ending in many more people in jails.

    While employers will simply take on more and more new employees, time and time again enjoying all the subsidised wage benefits that come with offering jobs to people on benefits.

    Its all one big rort this National Government.They have even offered candy coated carrots to the Maori to lull their people into thinking maybe they are really getting a great deal.

    Once the rich have cleaned up and the countrys worse off than it ever was.Many folks like Key will simply shoot the gap, and move on elsewhere until the heat cools a little.

    I cannot believe how stupidly blind many kiwis have become .Take a good look at Key and co , kiwis.When you look them in the eye do you see a look of some honesty , or do you see something looking kinda shifty

    Folks better wake up to it before the next elections arrive.And be a little wary of the offerings of candy coated carrots

    • OleOlebiscuitBarrell 43.1

      Why would an employer sack an employee who had demonstrated his or her ability to perform the job? He’d then have to spend a whole lot of unproductive time finding a new employee. What’s in it for the employer?

    • Gosman 43.2

      That’s right – people of a different idealogical persuassion from you are not ‘real’ New Zealanders are they. They are only out to stuff the country up by screwing over the workers and the environment and then they will skip out on the mess they created as they laugh maniacally from their private jet smoking cuban cigars and fondling their wads of cash.

      Do you guy’s actually believe this cartoon version of reality or just regurgitate it for effect?

      Do you think you have a chance convincing most average New Zealanders when you have such a childish view on the world?

      • michaeljsavage 43.2.1

        Some advice Gosman – go and sit in a pub on a saturday night or preferably mid week when average folk are out on the town. Listen to the conversations and take it all in.

        You might well be very surprised at the tenor of conversations – and how average kiwis really feel about your favoured government.

        Are you a Kiwi – or an import…just aksing you ….

        • Gosman

          Rubbish, the average Kiwi is highly unlikely to see the world in such blinkered fashion as many of you hard core lefties. You just have to take a look at the recent polls to see that – oh that’s right it is all a beat up by the MSM in cohoots with the New World Order and the Reptilian overlords.

          Eventually people will tire of the National led government and it is likely the Labour Party will get back in. However it won’t be because everybody starts believing the general socialist fairytale nonsense spouted by people like you.

  44. michaeljsavage 44

    Key is a paper money man – a generator of nothing … but he has made millions from it…. he is like a war profiteer. What has he ever done for a real business producing real things.

    Dead eyes – dead soul.

    How can you identify with the great unwashed when you are so far removed. After all he doesnt trust his own education system enough to send his kids to state schools.

    Must tell you something. I do hope Labour MPs with kids can say the opposite. If they cant – then think again boys and girls.

    Some of us had / have no choice.

    The level of social unrest and inequity that is coming to this nation will be immense … and the right wing will simply laugh it off.

    Till it comes knocking on their door. And it will.

    • Gosman 44.1

      The left’s general disdain for capital, as evidenced by that last comment, is one of the reasons they will never be anything more than wreakers.

  45. graham 45

    What you lefties dont get because you dont live in the real world
    Is that as a employer i hate job interviews
    I hate going though the hassal of traing new staff
    It takes time for people to get up to speed and be conferdent to talk to you.
    Bost most of all i hate ringing up people and telling them they didnt get the job.
    We empoyers are people first
    Maybe when you open your eyes to that you can let go of your enevy

    • Bored 45.1

      Graham, as an employer myself I agree with all the line items you state. Cant see how this is left / right, sounds more like standard human nature and common sense. Thats not the real issue here, what is under debate is the good old give a man an inch and he will take a mile scenario. In this case its give us (the employers) the ability to screw them (the employees) over, especially if we can get a pecuiary advantage or some other leverage and voila…we will be real humans and take advantage..

      • Gosman 45.1.1

        So do you have evidence that employers in the UK are taking advantage of a similar ability to the 90 Day trial period then?

        Following your logic, because some Unions have been known to exploit their own positions unduly we shouldn’t tighten labour regulations as someone might strike for a silly reason.

    • The Voice of Reason 45.2

      Hi, Graham. I fully sympathise with your hateful situation, it must be hellishly hard getting the right people in a time of mass unemployment. BTW, am I right in assuming from your spelling and comprehension difficulties that you are the CEO of a major NZ newspaper group?

      • Gosman 45.2.1

        Once more with the ad hominem attacks. Nice to see the level of debate here doesn’t change :rolleyes:

  46. michaeljsavage 46

    And you either cant spell – or you are dyslexic – or you lack keyboard skills.

    I hope I can be conferdent one day Graham.

    How long do your employees usually last with such a captain of industry as thou?

    Last time i pinched myself i lived in the current material world?

    This has given me real confidence in the future …

    • Gosman 46.1

      Nice ad hominem attack there. You do realise this is an Internet blog forum not an English language exam?

      Although perhaps you could get a job as a spell checker.

      • The Voice of Reason 46.1.1

        Hmmm. I had a crack as well, before spotting your comment, Gosman. I normally don’t comment on spelling in the comments, as I know full well that not everybody has a perfect grasp of English and that shouldn’t be a reason to take the piss. Ball, not the man, etc.

        But Graham’s illiteracy goes to the heart of this argument. Why should incompetent or poorly trained employers be given a free pass when they get it wrong? Why should the total burden of risk be only on the employee? Graham may well be a fantastic guy to work for, but if he can’t read and write, should he be the one making the employment decisions? And why should his employees pay the price for his mistakes?

        • graham

          The reason why i make the decision on who works on farm is that the bank manager lent me 10 million dollars.
          Just as well that he isnt some snob that cant see past my spelling

          • michaeljsavage

            funny how your spelling suddenly improved.

            Are you a chinese plant ….

        • graham

          If i make a mistake i have to pay

          • The Voice of Reason

            Cheers, graham, and apologies if you felt hurt by the reference to your writing skills. The Standard seems to me to be the kind of place where the idea is the important thing, not the way it’s written. However, it’s worth noting, that under this proposal, you could be fired for it, whether or not it has anything to do with the job you do.

            And under this proposal, “If i make a mistake i have to pay”, does not count. Does that sound fair?

    • graham 46.2

      i may only be a small business but my turnover exceeds 3.5 million

      • michaeljsavage 46.2.1

        Nobody asked you the size of your business … i think you are simply pulling a bit of the old “rural” tit … what …. aret those cows just not doing your mojo any good any more …. try the wife for a change bud

  47. michaeljsavage 47

    Gossy old salt – well said and i applaud the wit.

    It was funny though – i thought.

    Pleased you were watching … i felt the curtains twitching. Computers and software have rendered my special skills redundant.

    Et in arcadia ego

  48. Pete 48

    ” OleOlebiscuitBarrell 43.1
    16 July 2010 at 12:10 pm
    Why would an employer sack an employee who had demonstrated his or her ability to perform the job? He’d then have to spend a whole lot of unproductive time finding a new employee. What’s in it for the employer?”

    Oh come on Olebiscuit.Quit kidding us its so very hard to learn how to man a shovel or push a broom ,or clean the toilet and bathroom etc..These type of workers can be retrained with great ease

    Who are you trying to fool ?.

    You think these type of workers are not going to feel pressure to all preform like slaves under a regime where your neck is always on the line if you dont work like a dog .And you even have no union for support,and any public exposure! will only suffice to finish any future possibility you had of obtaining another job elsewhere.Public exposure of problems will cause other employers not to even employ you for a trial.Its a matter of common sense.

    This will help turn many Kiwi`s into slave labour, like the sweat shops we were once only used to seeing in places like China or India.

    Whats in it for the employer you ask …..So you dont think many ruthless employer wouldnt want their broom pushers and toilet cleaners etc, almost permenantly subsidized by WINZ job start incentives ?.

    Come on … Sure National Government and John Key and co, have managed to pull the wool over many people eyes in New Zealand …..But that dont mean all us Kiwi`s are all totally stupid

    There sure is plenty in it for the employer!.

  49. Pete 49

    ” graham 45
    16 July 2010 at 12:11 pm
    What you lefties dont get because you dont live in the real world
    Is that as a employer i hate job interviews
    I hate going though the hassal of traing new staff
    It takes time for people to get up to speed and be conferdent to talk to you.
    Bost most of all i hate ringing up people and telling them they didnt get the job.
    We empoyers are people first
    Maybe when you open your eyes to that you can let go of your enevy”

    Save your bullshit sermon for coverting stupid sinners at some church graham .We know its all about you lot wanting to fleece the poor of those few coins,you would like to see filling the coffers.

    How long does it HONESTLY take for a broom pusher or toilet cleaner to get up to speed ? .

    Specially when they come pre-trained by WINZ.

  50. Draco T Bastard 50


    “The Prime Minister’s attack on workers’ rights is unfair. Labour will oppose it at every stage and the next Labour Government will repeal these changes if John Key gets his way and they become law.

    It really does seem like our government is becoming unstable. The way things are going nothing any one government passes will last longer than that government.

    • Bill 50.1

      What’s the matter with Goff?

      Honestly. To claim that fire at will effect CEO’s? wtf? And then just mono-syllabic droning on the patently obvious…Oh, fuck.

      I thought it might have been a slightly off the boil interview. But no. It’s a press release.

      It’s enough to drive you to religion

    • Lanthanide 50.2

      Yes, I have thought that myself. This is the latest in a string of tit-for-tat policy reforms.

  51. Tiger Mountain 51

    Exactly DTB, thats why strong unions, and a fiesty political opposition are needed to carry on regardless when the dirty filthy tories hold office.

  52. Pete 52

    graham ->”We empoyers are people first
    Maybe when you open your eyes to that you can let go of your enevy”

    Oh sure grayham .Employers are people first employers.

    That why so many are keen to see no unions and few rights for employees and the bosses ability to get rid of workers within 90 days as they choose.

    Great way to prove how “people first” you are.

    According to your idea of the rules of “people first” country, maybe China and India can claim being “people first” also

    Its got little to do with envy grayham.And everything to do with a little humanity .Most broom pushers and toilet cleaner type dont really have a whole lot of envy left in them .They are simply far to busy trying to just survive and pay their rent and feed their kids.

    Your idea of “people first” want to put many of these types of folks into the situation of being vulnerable of abuse from ruthless employees who really dont care about anything more than profit margins and getting rich.

    You might honestly very well be a “people first” employer graham ,which is great.

    But where will you be when plenty of other employers are not so “people first” and start abusing this idiotic idea of Key and the National Government ? .

    When somebody happens to be working for a ruthless employer who just dont care ….Will you be around to help bear the pain of his/her dismissal ?.

    Will you be there to make sure this employee doesnt revert to crime to try and make ends meet ?. Will you be prepared to pay all the extra costs involved in building new jails and containing the extra criminals ?.

    Im picking no, maybe not !…..Quite likely you will quickly scurry off to Fiji for a holiday ,and become a “people last” person while you shuffle your books and diddle the tax ….And leave most of the extra costs to other Kiwis

  53. Santi 53

    I detest unions.
    Essential in the 19th century.
    Tolerated in the 20th century.
    Outdated, militant encumbrances in the 21st century.

    • exbrethren 53.1

      I detest business “leaders”.
      Slave traders in the 18th century.
      Robber barons in the 19th century.
      Partners of the fascist parties in the 20th century.
      Avaricious scum in the 21st century.

    • loota 53.2

      Funny, has treating your workers like expendable commodities you can fire at will suddenly stopped happening in the 21st century?


      Seems to me like its just starting.

      Hence the relevance and power of unions begins anew today, thanks to National.

      • Jim Nald 53.2.1

        For the 2008 polls, I voted for vision for a new New Zealand.
        But, since, the Government has been about revisionism and revision.
        And now. division.

  54. exbrethren 54

    No they don’t you donkey, and before you ask no I don’t claim any benefits.

    By the way the unions you detest do the work that raises the revenue that the lazy idlers at the top misappropriate into their bonuses and extortionate salaries. As I said avaricious scum.

    • Santi 54.1

      Are you into class warfare too?

      • exbrethren 54.1.1

        I hardly think that having a distaste for the excessive renumeration of certain CEO’s counts as class war, more like commonsense. People like Phil O’Lazy and his acolytes deserve contempt for their extremist views whereby they believe the majority should work for peanuts to make them richer – if you think this is supporting class war then I guess I’d be guilty of it in the court of Santi.

      • loota 54.1.2

        A class war is already being waged Santi, from the top downwards, and ordinary workers and the under priviledged are being told that its OK to stomach one body blow after another, that’s your lot in life.

    • Gosman 54.2

      Actually, to be more precise, the workers do the work. Whether or not they belong to a Union is immaterial to the equation you have postulated.

      Some on the right argue that membership of a union reduces the amount of work that the workers manage to achieve. I’m not that uncharitable myself.

      • exbrethren 54.2.1

        Fair point vis a vis workers doing the work.

        Some on the left argue that getting large bonuses is quite often an indication of a job poorly done -Reynolds, Fyfe, Gattung.

  55. graham 55

    yes my spelling is crap
    yes i employe 5 staff
    yes i am a dairy farmer
    I start work before they do i finish after them
    i dont make them work public holidays
    I may not have gone to uni but i pay tax and arent poor thak you very much

    Enevy is alive around here

    • michaeljsavage 55.1

      no one envies you mate ,… in fact many may well pity you.

      No one knew you were a dairy farmer and few could care less.

      But your response gives an interesting sideline to this issue …

      Sharemilker or farm owner … which are you …

  56. graham 56

    As to unions if a worker wants to join one thats his problem
    but because i am responibale under osh for all workplace saftey
    i need to control who comes on my farm
    if i believe it is unsafe and a nuisance that is my right

    • michaeljsavage 56.1

      I think you are just a logflogging old rural funnyboy who gets his rocks off coming on here.

      The aristocracy of the farmer is about to end. Stretch your eyes and learn to speak mandarin buddy boy and get ready to sign over your heritage to beijing.

      That tight feeling in your keester is you being fucked up the ass …

      just in case you didnt know …

  57. michaeljsavage 57

    Thats good and ok Graham – farming still is the backbone of the country. But it needs to be understood that there are huge numbers of other people out there – living in urban areas – who have every reason to be concerned. I dont think Farming is unionised and doesnt need to be. Farmers are generally good employers and the spans of control are short and personal … you know your workers well and they know you well. The rural approach is one that exemplifies what NZ used to be and isnt any longer.

    Apologies for unfairly criticising your spelling – the emotions sometimes run high on these sort of places i have discovered to my own cost.

    Unions have a good role to play – and they are now needed more than ever before.

  58. Jenny 58

    How many jobs will these measures create?

    The Nacts dare not quantify this question.


    Not only is any resulting measurable employment increase improbable, but that is not the reason these measures are being brought in.

    These measures are not being requested by the majority, but are being brought in on the request of the elites and big business following intensive well funded lobbying of the government by this greedy and rich minority.

    Whenever this greedy minority wish to make profits from building a polluting power plant, or milling a native forest, or mining reserve land, or drilling for oil in water over 1km deep, out of self interest they always mention how many jobs this will create. This is done to mollify the public and smother any concerns. Though such projects are created to make profits for wealthy investors, this is never mentioned as a justification. The creation of jobs is almost a side effect of the quest for profits. However such projects actually do create jobs, and people need jobs, and these jobs can be quantified and can be used to win over objectors.

    But here is a case where something being proposed will increase profits and as a cover the excuse “it will create jobs” is being wheeled out, but none of the supporters of these measures dare to specify or even guess at the numbers, for fear of being proved to be idiots and/or liars.

    Though there is big talk, (but no figures), about the jobs that will be created, selectively and dishonestly, the fact that these measures will increase profits is never mentioned.

    • Carol 58.1

      The Maori Party aren’t happy with the extension of the 90 Day trial period to bigger businesses. They say the existing 90 Day trial period has not resulted in any noticeable improvement in Maori youth employment:


      “Our party will be vigorously opposing any move that further marginalises our youth, especially given the current unemployment crisis.’

      The level of Maori youth who have participated in the workforce, between March this year and last year, when the scheme came to effect, has dropped by 1.5%. Over that same time, the Maori youth unemployment rate has increased by 6.4% to 27.7%.

      “For any person to say this will be good for Maori unemployed is disingenuous,’ Mr Flavell said.

      “Our particular concern will be about the impact of including big business in the scheme, for young Maori in the cities. What message do we send to them if we force them into a merry-go-round of trial jobs?’

    • Jenny 58.2

      Another ‘factless’ article from an employers’ group praising the proposed extension of the 90 day probation law.

      This time from the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce, who declare their full support for the legislation. but neglect to include any figures, or facts, or even an anecdote to back up their slobbering support for this legislation.

      Employers praise probation scheme

      • Bill 58.2.1

        132 employers surveyed. 20% of workers hired, fired within 90 days. Some for not displaying the correct attitude.

        Key’s dilemma

        Johnny Boy is quite correct in saying that this licence to abuse will not be abused.

  59. Descendant Of Smith 59

    The saddest thing for me as a father is that my children have employment conditions that are worse than I had when I started work.

    They have less choice and are screwed over more.

    Both my boys have worked for small and large employers. They are not averse to menial work and have done such work as cleaning toilets, worked for courier companies, hardware stores and so on.

    The salary bullshit pulled on them so they get paid monthly with no extra pay for extra hours worked or even extra days in the month, the abuse from their managers like the woman at McDonalds who used to go and crap in the toilet without flushing and make him clean it again, the loss of employment so they could employ the nephew instead, the offer of a months trial on no pay from one prick, and so on. I can list lots of examples from both small employers and large.

    My boys left school with a very good work ethic and feel constantly shafted by employers despite working hard for them. It pisses them off when they see their employers in Chamber Of Commerce magazines and newspapers being touted as good businesses when they were only interested in making money at the lowest possible cost.

    The industrial employers here have long had a blacklist of people they won’t employ. Their crime – taking out a PG – most often winning against this type of crap employer. Never mind the employer was wrong.

    This is what happens when these kids stand up to these employers.

    In the McDonalds example I wanted to go and rip shit out of the employer – but I respected my sons wishes not to. He used to get up at 4:00 am and bike to that job in the middle of winter.

    Yeah there are plenty of good employers out there but I can find plenty of shithouse ones as well.

    I still don’t get how anyone thinks that this type of change will have more young people employed – either you have the work to do or you don’t. All the people I know who have lost their jobs in this recession did so cause the employer had no bloody work. Until there is work there won’t be any jobs.

    The freezing workers who have no stock to kill won’t be at work til there is stock, the builders who laid off their staff did so cause they had no building jobs, the manufacturers who laid off their staff did so cause they had no orders, the retail shops who laid off their staff did so cause they had no customers, the exporters who laid off staff did so cause they had no export orders.

    This seems so fundamental to whether there are any jobs I feel stupid for saying it.

    This might influence a few things around the margins but will just allow more useless employers to screw young people around and make more money for themselves.

    This government is so busy pissing in the pockets of the corporates that the small businessman can’t even see that this whole approach will screw them over as well and as has happened in the last twenty years put more and more power in the large international businesses.

    It will also ensure that bad businessmen will take longer to get weeded out cause they can now even more so compete on crap wages and undercutting than they do now. This behaviour undermines the small businessman who provides a quality service and many have gone under cause they cannot compete.

    Both my boys have opted out of the workforce and have done degrees – they no doubt when qualified will disappear to Aussie costing the country their education and predominantly because of the way successive employers in this country have shafted them.

    If anyone thinks that young people think this change is doing them a favour they’re an idiot. They will protest with their feet and this country will be a much adder place because of it.

    And to all those racist employers out there the white ones are going first and if you don’t like employing Maori and Pacific Islanders ( or Asians) then pretty soon you won’t have much choice. It won’t be long til half the workforce in this country is non-European.

    Of course you’ll all have pissed off overseas with your money anyway – cause you won’t like what you have left behind – and if you haven’t I’ll be making sure my kids won’t be wiping your backside in the rest home that you will find yourself in. You can fend for yourself – just like you want my kids and their kids to do so.

    And I might seem a little angry – that’s cause I am cause you wouldn’t support this type of action if you even cared one little bit about my children and their futures.

    • loota 59.1

      I feel for you and your family DoS

      Do managers like the one at McDonalds have any idea how easily staff can undermine the workplace and cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars and the manager their job.

      When I started as a new grad (quite a few years ago now) I was with a big corporate, on their grad recruitment programme. I got paid $31,500 p.a., starting with no experience. Coming on 20 years later, I hear that new grads in my old field are being paid around the same starting salary. WTF. I did some calculations last night taking into account inflation/CPI increases over the years. It’s as if I was being paid $22K p.a. starting. Frakin’ awful. And these are university grads, our future ‘elite’.

      This country is being run into the ground by the B Team, who fancy themselves so much they don’t realise how **** they really are.

      captcha ESTABLISHMENT

    • michaeljsavage 59.2

      and you are absolutely right … and some will term you a xenophobe … most fathers will identify with your concerns

  60. Puddleglum 60

    Two things that really make my blood boil about this:

    1. A recession caused by corruption, deception and greed on a vast and unprecedented scale results in higher unemployment in NZ. The solution – cut the work rights of those made unemployed (and pretend that the cause of their unemployment is some sort of ‘Act of God’ or natural catastrophe the consequences of which you’re generously attempting to alleviate by removing rights.).

    2. Removing work rights to promote ‘labour market flexibility’ is the last in a long line of measures that, by definition, destabilise families, communities, countries and, not the least, individuals (e.g., “if you can’t find a job, move to where you can!”; “Got turfed out of three jobs in 8 months and been unemployed for the rest of the year? Well, the world doesn’t owe you a living – harden up!” “You don’t want to work overtime because you want to see more of your family? Fine, it’s a free world but there’s plenty of others who don’t have your attitude and this business needs to grow – now.”).

    And, you know what? Those on the right can’t see that their blessed system is the cause of what they constantly complain about – the ‘breakdown of society’! What a sick joke.

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