Health And Safety Bill Completes Committee Stage

by Desk Editor on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 — 10:01 PM

After a marathon debate new health and safety legislation has completed its committee stage and is set to pass into law on Thursday.

Following Question Time MPs returned to the committee stage of the Health and Safety Reform Bill is set to resume. When the House rose last week MPs were debating Part Four of the six part bill.

Much of the debate this afternoon was around enforcement provisions in the bill with Labour Leader Andrew Little questioning how safety inspectors would treat small businesses in comparisons to large corporates. He said without work and safety representatives it would be difficult for inspectors to work effectively with small businesses.

Unlike last week, the committee stage was completed largely without incident. The fundamental difference between Labour and National over the bill remained the categorization of some workplaces as low risk or high risk in draft regulations.

These allowed exemptions from the mandatory requirement to have a health and safety representative in the work place if workers requested it. Opposition parties said this severely watered down the bill as it was introduced.

Labour MPs sought to delay the completion of the committee stage, but were unsuccessful with most procedural motions going 63 to 58 with National, Maori Party, ACT and United Future in favour.

The bill was divided and reported with amendment. The House then rose.

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