New Zealand Labour Party

Employers want urgent action on health and safety

Moves by National to water down health and safety reforms have been slammed by employers – the very group the Government claims is pushing for change, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway.

“The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has written a letter to me expressing its mounting frustration at the way the Government has handled the Health and Safety Reform Bill.

“Talk about a slap in the face. 

“Not only does the EMA take the Government to task for its MPs failing to reach agreement on how far the changes should go, it also gives it a serve for using employers’ concerns as an excuse to rethink the Bill.

“The letter, signed by Advocacy and Industry Relations manager Mark Champion, calls for the Government to take the lead in improving health and safety at work and commit to beefed-up enforcement with more inspectors.

“It says the ‘she’ll be right’ attitude to workplace safety isn’t working and that while employers are prepared to do their bit, ‘the strongest and most prominent leadership – even if it’s unpopular among a small proportion of voters – must come from Government’.

“Unions have all voiced their concerns about the direction the bill is going in. Now employers are speaking up about the Government’s woeful management of the reform process too. No one has any idea what further changes the Government intends to make to the bill and that’s leaving everyone very nervous about what happens next.”