Audrey Young

Audrey Young is the New Zealand Herald’s political editor.

Employers could use temp labour during strike under new bill

File photo / APN
File photo / APN

Employers will again be free to hire temporary labour to cover striking workers under a private members' bill to be introduced to Parliament today.

The Employment Relations (Continuity of Labour) Amendment Bill in the name of National's Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross was draw from the ballot this morning.

Under the Employment Relations Act 2000, passed by the Fight Labour Government, employers are prevented from taking on temporary staff, volunteers, or staff from another related business during a strike.

An explanatory note to Mr Ross' bill says such restrictions prevented employers from maintaining business continuity.

The law needed to provide a balance between employers and employees to be fair.

The Council of Trade Unions secretary Peter Conway has described the bill as "another attack on collective bargaining.''

While the bill will be introduced today, debate on it will be some weeks away.

- NZ Herald

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