Business NZ is urging a measured reaction to leaked government labour law changes.
Prime Minister John Key will make an announcement on labour laws on Sunday at the National Party’s annual conference in Auckland.
Media have reported the announcement will include an extension to the 90-day trial period to include all employers.
The government is also tipped to signal changes to require unions to get an employer’s consent before they can visit a workplace.
Chief executive Phil O’Reilly said today that employment trial periods are common workplace practice around the world.
“If the government intends to extend these consistently across all New Zealand business, this would benefit employees and employers alike."
“More people are now getting a chance to gain employment in smaller firms. If the policy is extended, we can expect to see many more employed in larger firms also.”
He would not be opposed to the suggested changes to union access laws.
“Reasonable access rights by agreement with the employer are the way the world works," he said.
“Adjustments to our employment law as suggested – to improve job prospects and employment relations – would be a positive, not negative, prospect for everyone concerned.”
Mr O’Reilly told NBR he was waiting to see what the government would announce on Sunday before commenting further.
Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly today registered her strong opposition to both suggested changes.
“It is important for every worker in New Zealand to have the right to appeal against unfair dismissal and it is a disgrace that the government intends to remove that right from hundreds of thousands of workers.”
She said that making union access subject to employer agreement would create unnecessary conflict between unions and employers.
Fri, 16 Jul 2010