Via an advertising campaign using outdoor billboards, press and digital advertising it is asking Government MPs to "Please Fix the Bill", at the same time encouraging its members to ask the same of the coalition Government.
This is a national campaign involving all four members of the BusinessNZ family (EMA, Business Central, Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce, Otago Southland Employers Association).
"We wholeheartedly agree with the Government’s goal of developing a modern, nimble and high performing economy, however we would like to understand how labour laws of yesteryear will enable this to happen," says Kim Campbell, CEO, EMA.
"We are deeply concerned that what is being proposed in the Employment Relations Amendment Bill 2018, plus a raft of other related legislation in the pipeline, is old thinking for a modern world.
"New Zealand First MPs have the chance to modify parts of this legislation and work with small business to deliver an industrial relations framework that will help them grow their enterprises.
"Let’s be clear. We are not against reform. But we are against poorly drafted legislation that has been cobbled together in a hurried manner. What we want is for the Government to pause, consider what the impacts of these changes could be, have an honest conversation around how placing more compulsion into the workplace will drive a modern, nimble economy and reflect on how we can work on this together in a constructive manner.
"The Future of Work Forum has yet to convene. And this is the proper forum to nut out the answers to many of the above questions. Therefore it seems out of kilter to develop the legislative framework - which is the vehicle that enables the Government’s strategic aims to be delivered - before the strategic analysis and discussion has been had.
Add to this the significant roll call of employment law legislative change that is also a significant factor in businesses putting a temporary hold on their hiring and investment plans including:- The Employment Relations Amendment Bill- Pay Equity- Employment Relations (Triangular Relations) Bill- Equal Pay- Fair Pay Agreements- Contractors as Employees- The Future of Work- Holidays Act Review- Hobbit Law Review
Each of these issues is a focus for business but combined they represent a significant rewriting of the employment relations landscape that has been the platform for New Zealand’s economic performance in the past decade - despite earthquakes and the Global Financial Crisis.
Add in an unknown legal framework for reducing emissions, an electricity pricing review, a tax working group and lingering questions around costing/taxing water and you can understand why business is hesitant.