Labour urges to back redundancy bill

Darien Fenton

Labour members have started to approach different quarters in a bid to get support for the Redundancy Protection Bill, aimed at ensuring redundancy payments for laid-off workers. The bill, drafted by Labour MP Darien Fenton, provides minimum notice and redundancy compensation for retrenched workers.

Ms Fenton, terming the bill very urgent for people who lost their jobs, said: "We're seeing hundreds of people lose their jobs every week, including many with no or little redundancy pay, and that's leaving people struggling to pay their mortgages and support their families."

Redundancy Protection Bill has the support of The Greens, Maori Party and various worker unions. However, the bill has drawn criticism from various quarters, including Business New Zealand Chief Executive Phil O'Reilly and some other members. Mr. O'Reilly's said: "It sounds nice but it's an exactly the wrong thing to do right now."

Ms Fenton said that it is a right chance for the government to introduce the bill, as recession still continues, and the laid-off workers need support in these tough times. She recalled that the Public Advisory Group on Restructuring and Redundancy, formed by the government, has also recommended such a bill to save the interests of the workers.