Employment Law Reform

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The Young Nats have been strong advocates for employment law reform under this National Government. We supported the 90 Day Trial period because it allows employers to take a chance on a worker they might otherwise have viewed as too risky. This is particularly important for young people with no previous work experience, people trying to rebuild their lives after substance abuse or getting a criminal record, and disadvantaged minorities who are most likely to feel the effects of unemployment. Trial period legislation is almost universal in the OECD, with Australia and the UK both having 12 month trial periods introduced by Labour Governments.

The Young Nats also supported a private members bill by Jami-Lee Ross to repeal s97 of the Employment Relations Act which would allow employers to hire replacement labour during strikes. Strikes are often used as a bullying tactic by large unions against small employers and can have wide ranging effects on the economy when they target critical services and infrastructure as seen during the Ports of Auckland strike in 2012. This also creates a more level playing field, there is after all no prohibition on striking workers finding alternative employment until they get back on the job. At the 2013 National Party Conference we passed a remit which received wide support in the party.

Young Nats have also called for other reforms, such removing the obligation for employers to collect union dues on behalf of unions.