Friday, October 27, 2006

The end of the probationary employment bill?

The Transport and Industrial Relations committee has reported back [PDF] on the Employment Relations (Probationary Employment) Amendment Bill, and recommended that it not proceed. Attempts to amend it to make it more palatable were lost on a tied vote, but could be reintroduced at the committee stage if it makes it that far. But given that Labour, the Greens and the Maori Party have all stated their opposition, the vote is a forgone conclusion - the bill will fail.

An interesting point raised by both sides in submissions is the increasing prelevance of "no win, no fee" employment lawyers. This is a natural consequence of the de-unionisation of the workforce and move to a contractual model, and one of the side-effects has been to shift the focus of personal grievance claims from getting the employee's job back to getting a financial settlement so the lawyer gets paid. While National would probably like to ban this practice (in keeping with their general attitude that rights should only be enforceable by the rich), what's really needed is greater access to mediation services. While the government does provide such services through the Department of Labour, it doesn't do much to advertise them. Perhaps that should change?


Apparently the Maori Party are considering the amendments Mapp is suggesting, which he outlines in this press release on Scoop.

The other thing I thought I heard on the radio was that there were still only three Maori MPs definitely voting against. Maybe it was a mistake though and they meant to say four...

I won't be breathing a sigh of relief until the bill's been officially voted down. Here's hoping it's soon.

Posted by Span : 10/29/2006 01:16:00 PM