House Rises Debating ERA Reform

by Desk Editor on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 — 10:01 PM

The House rose just before 10pm interrupting debate on employment law reform.

The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse said during the committee stage of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill delivered on National’s manifesto in 2011 and 2014. It continued a strong focus on reducing compliance costs and created more flexibility around employment arrangements and bargaining.

Claims the bill would take away meal breaks were scaremongering, Woodhouse said.

Labour Iain Lees-Galloway said he hoped MPs had enjoyed their dinner break, but it was not what the National Party wanted for ordinary workers with many set to lose them because of the bill.

Part one of the bill made a number of changes to the Act which included removing the duty to conclude collective bargaining and to continue bargaining, which would weaken workers’ rights, Galloway said.

Debate was interrupted on Part Two of the Bill.

Votes on the Ministers amendments went 62 to 59 with National, ACT and United Future in favour. The vote on Part One standing part had the same result.

The House will resume on Thursday at 2pm.

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