Business agreeable to employment changes

  • 12/07/2015
Business agreeable to employment changes

Business leaders say employment law reforms to address issues with zero-hours contracts look workable but they need to see the detail.

The Government wants all employment contracts to include agreed hours and practices such as making unreasonable wage deductions and restricting secondary employment to be banned.

BusinessNZ chief executive Phil O'Reilly says it looks workable.

"Zero hours contracts are not used in the vast majority of workplaces and problems with their use are not widespread," he said.

The contracts and other forms of casual contracts can be very useful for both parties, he says.

"In a few situations they have been controversial, and the Government is seeking to provide some protections in legislation.

"We have yet to see what form that protection might take, and business would reserve the right to comment on the draft legislation," Mr O'Reilly said.

Michael Barnett, chief executive of the Auckland Regional Chamber of Commerce, says the proposed changes ignore work-life balance and "protection for those that are weak".

He said bad employment practices should be outlawed.

Businessman Sam Stubbs told Q+A the regime needed to be simple and the proposals initially looked unclear.

"The more complicated it is the more it favours the employer," he said.