Changes to Labour Laws

Employment law changes fiercely opposed by unions and the Labour Party are about to be passed by parliament.

The Employment Relations Amendment Bill completed its committee stage on Tuesday night and is expected to pass its final third reading stage on Wednesday.

The government had to put it on hold before the election because it didn’t have the numbers to get it through.

Now it is in a stronger position and it can pass the bill with the help of just one partner party.

It has ACT’s support for a majority vote.

The bill will be the first legislation passed by the new parliament, ending a struggle that began when it was introduced in April last year.

It carries a raft of changes to employment law which the government says are needed to create jobs and increase productivity.

Under its terms, employers will be able to walk away from collective agreement bargaining if negotiations aren’t getting anywhere.

Working hours will be more flexible, with meal and tea breaks no longer fixed.

Employers will be able to offer “reasonable compensatory measures” in place of breaks.

The government says the measures are essential for modern work environments, but the bill’s opponents say it’s a savage attack on worker rights.


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