It’s the 1st of April – April Fool’s Day, but no joke for New Zealand’s wage and salary earners.
From today, it is easier to fire workers.
Changes to employment laws will allow any new worker to be unfairly dismissed in the first 90 days of employment with no reason having to be given and no ability for the worker to challenge the dismissal.
The changes in the Act are significant. It’s the first time in decades that workers will not have access to justice if they are fired unfairly. Even under Bill Birch’s hated Employment Contracts Act 1991, this was not a option.
The introduction of fire at will, restrictions on the right of workers to meet with their union representatives, along with other changes to personal grievances and the Holidays will not improve the productive employment relationships of well-organised employers.
Many employers are saying they don’t want or need these changes because good employers don’t need bad laws. Some have already negotiated collective agreements with unions that exclude the use of 90 day no rights provisions, and continues the reasonable arrangement they have had for access to the workplace.
Telecom says they have chosen not to implement the 90 day trial period, saying “if people have performance issues during the first 90 days we will work with them in trying to fix those issues….”
So the governmment is really just giving a hand-up for disorganised, incompetent employers.