• Max Bradford

Labour Minister Max Bradford today released a series of Cabinet papers backgrounding the Coalition Government's recent announcement on industrial relations reforms.

"The papers show the thorough process of research, consultation and consideration of a wide range of views behind the Coalition Government's decisions," Mr Bradford said.

The papers include:

* Cabinet and Cabinet Committee papers relating to the Review of the Holidays Act, including technical aspects and the results of consultation on tradeability of holidays;

* Cabinet and Cabinet Committee papers relating to the Review of the Employment Contracts Act personal grievance provisions; and

* Research reports into decisions of the Employment Court, particularly relating to personal grievance cases.

Mr Bradford said the planned changes to the Employment Contracts Act and Holidays Act are those promised under the Coalition Agreement - that is, to encourage an industrial relations environment based on the principles of flexibility, neutrality, and fairness.

He said the Labour Opposition's reaction to the industrial relations reforms showed how out of touch the Labour Party really is with the modern environment of Coalition Government.

"The papers on the Holidays Act show there is considerable benefit for employees to have the right to exchange their 11 public holidays for cash if they wish to," he said.

"The papers also show that more than 80 per cent of employers who made submissions also favoured some tradeability of holidays.

"The National Caucus also favoured tradeability of public holidays - but because a majority of the New Zealand First Caucus could not agree to the proposal, the status quo remains, i.e. no tradeability..

"This is the reality and challenge of Coalition Government - partners have to make compromises.

"It is about time the Opposition parties came to terms with the nature of Coalition Government - this is the environment we work in, and we must get on with it for the benefit of all New Zealanders."

Note: Copies of the papers have been distributed to the Parliamentary Press Gallery, and are available on request to Mr Bradford's office (04) 4719-648.
Media Inquiries: Ann Howarth (04) 4719-836 025-424-565