National's Employment Policy is "Back to the Future" Stuff!


Eric Roy promotes National's new employment policy as though it will be the saviour for many of our unemployed youth who currently suffer a 27% unemployment rate. This terrible situation is largely because of the frozen budgets for tertiary education and cutting back on places in our Universities and most importantly because there just aren't the jobs being created.

Bringing back youth rates will only see a repeat of common situations like capable youths finding themselves in positions of responsibility and managing staff older than themselves, but earning less. I can also see lots of older workers losing their jobs to younger cheaper options as happened when youth rates existed before. If someone does the same job as another and to the same level of performance they should be paid the same.

We are rushing steadily further into an low wage economy and even further behind Australia, this is "Back to the Future" stuff.

My reply to Eric:

Eric, as someone who has 15 years of experience in employment disputes. I am the first to admit that the employer/employee relationship is like any relationship, issues can occur from both sides. What is most important is achieving the right balance between the rights of the employee and the employer.
I am becoming increasingly aware that for good employers there are few issues with current pay rates and regulations as they tend to do more than they are expected to. It is those employers who do not value their employees and do not operate in good faith who find any regulation that supports workers is problematic and they will always look for the minimum requirements. I have found that by far the largest number of disputes I have dealt with, or have knowledge of, it has been the employer who has been in the wrong and not followed fair process. I have heard some horrific stories, especially coming from the dairy industry, where even the basics of employment law are ignored.
When productivity in New Zealand has increased 52% since 1989 and wages have only increased 16% in real terms, New Zealand workers have not benefited from their efforts. To lower pay rates for many yet again and to reduce protections for workers even further will only see a continuation of this trend.
One of the reasons for Australia having safer work places and higher wages is that their employment law is much fairer than ours. I am disappointed that when we have hundreds fronting up for single jobs that National will just make life for workers even harder and most especially when most of our major employers have had huge increases in their profits over the past year that things will be made even worse.
Eric, you are free to make any counter arguments on my own blog and I look forward to further discussion.

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