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Last Updated:[09-09-2009 06:56:38 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

New Zealand Redundancy Protection Bill to Worry Businesses

tradenews The Redundancy Protection Bill (RPB), the brainchild of the Labour MP Darien Fenton is likely to cause severe damage to several businesses, particularly SMEs while protecting the hapless workers who are losing jobs due to ongoing slowdown. Max Whitehead, the chief of the Whitehead Group, a leading employment firm stated that if passed, RPB could be the death knell for many small businesses.

“Fair Deal in Hard Times”, as the bill is fondly called aims to provide a basic level of financial security for all working New Zealanders who are made redundant. It would give employees facing redundancy no less than four weeks' notice and compensation of four weeks' wages for the first year of continuous employment. They would also be entitled to get the equivalent of two weeks' pay for each year of employment after that, to a maximum of 26 weeks.

The bill proposed by the main opposition party, the Labour, is ready to be tabled on 16th of this month in the Parliament. Already it has the support of the Greens and the Maori Party but would need the backing of the National, the largest party of the ruling minority government, to see it through.

Fenton while campaigning for RPB said the need for a fair and decent system of redundancy protection was becoming increasingly urgent as more people lose their jobs across New Zealand. She further added the job losses had left people struggling to pay their mortgages and support their families.

On the contrary, Whitehead warned that the small Business was the life blood of the New Zealand economy and this Bill was the last thing New Zealand Business needed during the current recession. In his opinion, many businesses are surviving only because of the periodical slashing of some staff by retaining the remaining lot.

According to Whitehead, Auckland alone is sending off 1000 workers every week to stay afloat. The additional redundancy compensation costs to the struggling employers would force them to down shutters in no time, if the bill took shape, said the employment firm’s chief.

By Jose Roy

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