Farm­ers not happy with pro­posed bill amend­ment

Waipa Post - - The Country -

Fed­er­ated farm­ers say com­mon cour­tesy and sound work­place and biose­cu­rity safety prac­tice is thrown out the win­dow with pro­posed new em­ploy­ment laws re­ported back to Par­lia­ment last week.

“There’s been lit­tle or no fuss says em­ploy­ment spokesman Chris Lewis.

“But un­der the Em­ploy­ment Re­la­tions Amend­ment Bill, union rep­re­sen­ta­tives can just bowl into a busy shear­ing or milk­ing shed when they feel like it, with no need to give no­tice or seek per­mis­sion.

“Not only is that dis­cour­te­ous and a recipe for fric­tion, but it can be dan­ger­ous when staff are flat tack with ma­chin­ery and an­i­mals.”

The Bill also re­moves the 90-day trial ar­range­ments for busi­nesses em­ploy­ing more than 20 peo­ple, which will be a bar­rier to em­ploy­ers will­ing to take a punt on a job ap­pli­cant with a che­quered work his­tory or limited qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

“It’s the ac­cess without no­tice or per­mis­sion clauses which will re­ally grate with farm­ers,” says Chris.

“It’s a non-fix for a non-ex­is­tent prob­lem.

“Willy-nilly ac­cess to farm prop­er­ties, which are gen­er­ally also the own­ing fam­ily’s home, seems to be a flavour of the mo­ment.

“Whether it’s Fish and Game peo­ple tak­ing a week­end off from run­ning down our sec­tor to ac­cess wa­ter­ways, vis­i­tors to the High Coun­try treat­ing pri­vate farm­land as the na­tional es­tate and now MPI in­spec­tors not even need­ing a war­rant or rea­son to search and seize, farm­ing fam­i­lies’ quiet en­joy­ment of their land ap­pears to be up for grabs.”

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