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No ReStart for Fire at Will even if unfair

Written By: - Date published: 9:43 am, December 16th, 2008 - 9 comments
Categories: national/act government, workers' rights - Tags: , , ,

So much for all National’s fine words about probation periods and job creation. Today’s Dominion reports that ReStart will not be available for “those who were sacked, including those who lost their jobs under the new 90-day probation law.”

So the conditions for three months “probation” are that you cannot ask for reasons for dismissal in writing, cannot appeal against unfair dismissal, and no matter if it is unfair you do not qualify for any benefit.

At least National’s 1991 Employment Contracts Act kept grievance rights. This is worse.

9 comments on “No ReStart for Fire at Will even if unfair ”

  1. Julie 1

    The whole ReStart package seems to ignore the fact that there are likely to be less jobs during a recession. It’s based around people getting back to work quite quickly, but there’s no focus on job creation to ensure that there are positions for them to fill. That’s what I liked about Labour’s ideas – they acknowledged that there would be higher unemployment, therefore they focused on making training available to soak up some of those spare people, give them new skills, and treat them like human beings not just numbers on a balance sheet.

  2. Tigger 2

    Julie – totally agree. The 90-day fire at will legislation is fundamentally based on the notion that employment red tape is discouraging people from hiring. But in a recession, who has the money to hire anyone? The focus should have been on job creation – not this wonky-policy idea. Of course, NACT will expect job creaton to come from the market but again, in a recession this is something that needs a kickstart from government. I see no vision from this government. And it will hurt them.

  3. Bill 3

    John A.

    The statement “and no matter if it is unfair you do not qualify for any benefit” isn’t accurate. If you’re fired under the ‘fire at will’ policy, you qualify for same UB in the same way as you do now ( minus the stand down)

    What you wont get is the extra earmarked for redundant workers.

    On reflection, forget what I just said! Under ‘normal’ Employment Law an unfair dismissal would be treated as redundancy if a PG didn’t result in reinstatement.

    Having said that, I can see a lot of small employers firing people with no written agreement in place. So maybe all is not lost?

  4. Duncan 4

    Bill, I understand there’s still a bit of ambiguity over access to benefits.

    http://blog.greens.org.nz/2008/12/15/sue-bradford-on-the-fire-at-will-bill/

  5. Ianmac 5

    John Key said on TV last night that “they figured that about 70,000 would lose their jobs but that would include all those who come off one job and go straight into another”.
    Really??? Heaps of jobs to redeploy into????Really?

  6. Bill 6

    Duncan.
    Can of worms innit?!

    Commenting on another post I asked why the MSM ( in particular TV) were peddling the line that 90 day firings would only be for performance failures.

    Jeez. Trying to get something positive out of all this. What if unions flat refused to have a blank 90 day clause in agreements…..then a new employee has very good reason to join the union on day one. Could this 90 day stuff backfire and lead to a surge in union membership in industries not noted for high levels of unionisation, eg fast food adn hospitality in general?

    If a CEA gets around the 90 Day B/S, are the unions in a position to organise those industries? Previously, they have been in the ‘too hard basket’ due, in part, to the transient nature of the workforce and the fact that many workers look at you all blank when you say ‘union’.

    Nat could inadvertently have handed the union movement a gift horse…or built their very own trojan horse but rolled it into their own ranks by mistake…Okay, I’m struggling for metaphors, but you get the gist of what I’m driving at I’m sure.

  7. randal 7

    if natoinal is the party of business
    then
    where are all the new jobs?

  8. dave 8

    The conditions for three months “probation’ are that you cannot ask for reasons for dismissal in writing, cannot appeal against unfair dismissal, and no matter if it is unfair you do not qualify for any benefit.

    John A, you’re wrong. A simple compliance such as writing something on a Job seekers agreement can get a person on a 13 weeks stand down on a benefit. I am aware you may not have known that but you should have probably done some research instead of peddling false information.

  9. George.com 9

    “False Start” package perhaps

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