12 Oct 2008

Labour pledges laid off workers will get compensation

6:46 pm on 12 October 2008

The Labour Party is promising to ensure workers who are laid off would receive compensation from their employers.

The party's spokesperson on labour issues, Trevor Mallard, made the announcement at a Council of Trade Unions forum in Wellington on Thursday.

The idea is part of a newly-released report from the Public Advisory Group on Restructuring and Redundancy.

Mr Mallard says a Labour-led government would make a law change that would set down a minimum notice of, and compensation for, redundancy.

"The current law offers no statutory entitlements to employees for notice or compensation in the event of redundancy unless they're in their employment agreement," he said.

"This means that employees that are made redundant who do not have these protections negotiated into their employment agreements almost certainly get no support."

Mr Mallard says the details of the compensation or notice required will be worked out in a consultation process next year.

The Engineering Printing and Manufacturing Union, the National Distribution Union, and the Public Service Association are all in favour of the proposed changes.

PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff says it is timely.