The Public Service Association says government health and safety inspectors should not have to reapply for their jobs.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment says from July this year, 139 health and safety inspectors will have their positions abolished and replaced by 158 new positions with higher competency expectations.
The ministry says the current inspectors can apply for the new positions.
However, Public Service Association national secretary Brenda Pilott says those inspectors should have been assigned to the new jobs immediately.
Ms Pilott says the inspectors have been told that if they reapply for the jobs they would be subject to psychometric testing.
She described the test as unnecessary and nonsense and says has never seen it used in a restructuring of staff within the public sector.
A lawyer specialising in health and safety, Hazel Armstrong, says the move is part of the Pike River Royal Commission's recommended changes.
She says although the changes mean better health and safety standards, they are hard on the current inspectors who have been badly directed by management which has failed to upskill, stay modern and enforce standards.