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Thursday, November 18

Don’t let unfair dismissals happen to others, says 90 day worker

Heather Smith, the pharmacy worker sacked under a 90 day clause, has called on Parliament to spare other workers the experience she suffered as a result of the 90 day ‘fire at will’ law. Heather made the call as the Employment Relations Act Amendment Bill passed its second reading today.

Heather Smith said: “I don’t want what was done to me to happen for many more vulnerable workers in their first 90 days on the job. I was fortunate that the employer in my case made a mistake and enabled me to take a case, but if they had done everything according to the 90 day law I would have had no opportunity to question my sacking.”
CTU Secretary Peter Conway said: “Job security for every worker in New Zealand will be weakened by this law. We have already shown with cases such as Heather’s how some employers have mistreated workers and an extension of this law will affect thousands of workers. 80% of New Zealanders support the right to appeal unfair dismissal even in the first 90 days, but this Government isn’t listening.”

“Together with the weakening of personal grievance procedures which will favour employers we are going to see many more people lose their jobs unfairly but with no right to clear their name and have an independent hearing.”

A summary of some of the cases of unfair dismissal under the 90 day law brought to the CTU so far can be read at:
http://fairness.org.nz/sites/fairness/files/90DayCases_1.doc
Video testimony of four workers affected by the 90 day law can also be seen atwww.youtube.com/NZCTU.