BoP MP welcomes passing of Employment Relations Amendment Bill

Press releases
Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bay of Plenty MP, Todd Muller, welcomes the passage of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill through Parliament.

The bill delivers on the Government’s election promise to improve employment law, particularly in relation to fairness, flexibility and choice in the labour market for employers and employees.

Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, Michael Woodhouse, praised the bill as it will help build sustained economic growth through a more responsive labour market, while providing certainty for employers and employees around workplace rights and obligations.

Bay of Plenty MP, Todd Muller, believes the bill will deliver benefits for the region’s small businesses.

“On the campaign trail I met so many small businesses which praised the government’s flexible and non-strident approach to working relationships. This bill is a further example of our commitment to ensure we have the conditions in place to enable Bay businesses to be more adaptable and flexible”, says Mr Muller.

Among other changes, the Bill increases choice and flexibility in collective bargaining, with the Employment Relations Authority now able to declare whether collective bargaining has concluded.

It extends the right to request flexible working arrangements to all workers, not just caregivers, and these requests can now be made from the first day of employment.

Rest and meal break provisions are now more flexible, with the Bill enabling employers and employees to agree to the timing and duration of rest and meal breaks.

Contrary to the Opposition’s red-herring claims, provisions for rest and meal breaks are still subject to health and safety requirements which ensure the protection of employees.

The Bill also makes changes to the continuity of employment provisions, known as Part 6A in the Act, for more vulnerable sectors of workers such as cleaners.

“In my view flexible and balanced employment relations legislation is essential for business to grow while ensuring protections for workers are retained. This Bill strikes the right balance to promote business growth while also retaining protections for workers”, say Mr Muller.