In 2000 the Employment Relations Act was passed into law in New Zealand, replacing the Employment Contracts Act. The bill proved controversial: some suggested it placed unfair obligations on employers, while others claimed it restored much-needed rights to workers that had been undermined. This Assignment episode explores both angles. Among them, business owner John Holm argues that he shouldn’t be told how to treat his employees, while union leaders and Alliance Party MP Laila Harré all argue that without the bill, workers will continue to be exploited.
I don't need any union to tell me how to treat my staff. I don't need any legislators to tell me how to treat my staff. My staff are my best asset and if I can't look after them, my best asset, then I shouldn't be in business.– Business owner John Holm