“The Government today confirmed it will gut a policy that has led to a 10 per cent increase in hiring in the construction industry,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“The Government will limit the use of 90-day trial periods to businesses with fewer than 20 employees.
“This is despite the fact that Motu’s research found a 10.3 percent increase in hiring in the construction and wholesale trade industries as a result of the policy.
“Only half of construction workers work in firms with fewer than 20 employees. This means much of the construction industry will not have access to a tool that has helped them expand in a country desperate for new houses.
“Civil Contractors New Zealand last year said the industry needed 30,000 more workers over two years.
“Trial periods gives employers more confidence to hire new employees, meaning people who struggle to find work, like the young, have a better chance of gaining skills and employment.
“Officials told the last Government that 90-day trial periods were not significantly increasing the number of short-term employment relationships or worker turnover or deterring employees from changing jobs.
“This means hysterical warnings from Labour and the unions about exploitative hiring and firing were simply false.
“It was ACT that made National extend the policy from small businesses to all businesses in 2010 – this is ultimately what the Government objects to,” says Mr Seymour.