Labour leader Andrew Little has indicated Labour will come up with its own version of trial period for new workers by merging aspects of the 90-day trial and a separate probationary period.
Mr Little caused confusion about his stance on the 90-day trial periods last week after he said Labour was looking at making changes rather than scrapping them altogether. That contradicted Labour's 2014 policy, in which repealing the law Labour had dubbed the 'Fire at Will Act' was one of its priorities for the first 100 days if it was in Government. Mr Little said on Tuesday it was a longstanding aspect of labour laws for employers to put new workers on a probationary period and that was still an option for employers as well as the 90-day trials.
Labour has strongly opposed the trial periods introduced by National because they allow employers to sack a worker within the first 90 days without risking a case of wrongful dismissal. Mr Little said there were also problems with the other option of a probationary period, which had been a longstanding feature of labour law, because there was no maximum time limit for the period. "We have two laws to look at, both are inadequate, both fail to talk about fairness and we want to make sure that employers continue to have the right to try out new workers for an agreed period of time and that workers have basic rights of fairness."
Mr Little's initial statement about the 90 day trials prompted unions to call for a 'please explain.' There was further confusion after a Labour Party member on the party's Te Kaunihera Maori group tweeted that Mr Little had assured him Labour still planned to repeal it. Mr Little later told the Herald he had not said that but had discussed Labour's intention to review it with the group.