Employment law changes will cost jobs

New Zealand is a country of small and medium-sized businesses, and that’s particularly true here in Auckland.

Small and medium-sized businesses drive our economy, and provide most of the job opportunities and incomes for our families. This is true for Pakuranga and for New Zealand.

The new Government has just launched the first wave of their employment law reforms. The reforms as proposed will increase risks and costs for small and medium-sized businesses and that can only hurt jobs and slow our region down.

The changes proposed include the end of the starting out wage, the removal of 90 day trials for businesses with more than 20 staff (including casual and part timers), big leaps in the minimum wage, reduced employment flexibility, and 1970s-style standardised wage bargaining.

Together these changes will mean fewer jobs for Kiwi workers, increases in the cost of living and fewer competitive businesses.

Already we are seeing businesses across the country lose confidence as a result of the policies of this new Government. These reforms are one of the big reasons for that decline.
New Zealand has an enviable track record over the last few years for lifting employment and growing wages.

For the last two years, an average of more than 10,000 jobs has been created every month, in addition to consistently low unemployment rates and the fact that the proportion of people in work is the third highest in the developed world.

With this in mind, the government needs to explain its reasoning behind such dramatic reforms and ensure hard-working and entrepreneurial Kiwis aren’t left behind in order to pay off Labour’s union backers.

Last week National launched a campaign called “Protect NZ Jobs”, to help businesses better understand and fight the government’s proposed employment reforms. You can read more about this campaign at the national.org.nz website.

New Zealand’s economy is growing and performing strongly right now — let’s not do anything to upset that.

  • Simeon Brown is MP for Pakuranga