New workplace law hurting businesses
In the last few weeks the Government has passed new workplace laws that are going to hurt small business owners by handing the power to the unions and taking away the flexibility they need to compete in a modern market place.
Of workers in New Zealand, 83 per cent aren’t members of a union. Membership rates have been dropping for decades and this is the Government’s way of appeasing the unions who predominantly voted Labour in the last election. It’s also a cunning way to try and drive up union membership.
Horowhenua Ka¯ piti’s local economy is largely based around small business and it’s concerning that union officials now have greater access, without notice, to many workplaces. Once inside, they can dangle new statutory protections for union members that non-members won’t share. Their recruitment drive will be on the employer’s time and be a cost on the business.
Allowing this sort of union access is reminiscent of the 1970s where some may remember the debacle of Wellington’s BNZ Centre (now the State Insurance Building) which was designed in the 1960s but not finished till the 1980s because of union interference. There will also continue to be more disruption and strikes.
Ordinary Kiwis end up paying the price for the disruptions. Families with school children, commuters and people using health and justice services are among those being disrupted and adds to household costs.
New Zealand’s unemployment rate is 3.9 per cent — well below the OECD average of 5.2 per cent. We have one of the highest rates of employment in the world and a lot of businesses struggle to find workers which is why many gaps are filled by overseas workers. Fortunately the successful 90-day trial period remains for small and medium sized businesses but has been removed for larger workplace over 20 staff. It’s really just ideology driven which is a shame.
National has listened to small businesses through our Have Your Say campaign and these changes were something that really concerned people. It’s a shame to see them rammed through by the Government and National would repeal them should we be lucky enough to win the 2020 election.