IT industry satisfied with ERB

The IT contracting industry appears happy with the final form of the Labour government's Employment Relations Bill.

The IT contracting industry appears happy with the final form of the Labour government's Employment Relations Bill.

ITANZ executive director Jim O'Neill, who met Employment Minister Margaret Wilson to discuss the revised bill, is still wading through the detail but says he is "reasonably satisfied" with the changes made.

A director for the New Zealand Recruitment Consultants Services Association, Jane Fanselow, is pleased employees can remain contractors if they want.

IT & T Recruitment Auckland contract services manager Christine Fitchew also says the revised bill is "good news" and it is "excellent" contractors can remain contractors.

IT@Manpower regional manager Chris Lewis says keeping the status quo will remove uncertainty in the contracting market.

Tighter rules affecting fixed-term contractors are no problem as this will encourage companies to use more agencies, to keep employees more "at arm's length".

Manpower is putting out a flyer to its contractors advising them on the bill, which will come into effect on October 2 if passed by Parliament.

But Auckland lawyer John Hannon of Phillips Fox warns companies could face court action if their contractors can claim they were pressurised into becoming contractors.

Employment Minister Margaret Wilson says the changes to the bill have made it "better than ever".

She says the bill will improve industrial relations and warned bosses at a BNZ breakfast last week that if they were thinking of selling up and going to Australia, they should think again as Australian employment laws ware even tougher.

The National Party has pledged to repeal the bill and has issued its select committee report on www.dinosaur.org.nz.

National's industrial relations spokesman Max Bradford says the bill will lead to more litigation and employers still face risks as contractors can bring court action over their status.

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