Saturday, December 19, 2009

NZ Holidays under threat - thin edge of the wedge...

Holidays under threat - thin edge of the wedge...

The unions say the government has completed a review of the Holidays Act and wants to change the way leave is calculated.

Unions are outraged at what they believe is a move by the Government to cut holiday entitlements.

A review of the Holidays Act has been completed, and Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson is indicating she will accept a recommendation for workers to be able to cash in exchange for a week of their annual leave.

CTU President Helen Kelly says it will have a huge impact on families on low wages, who will feel forced to give up part of their holidays just for cash to survive. She says while employers want struggling families to be able to exchange their leave, the solution to the problem is higher wages.

Ms Kelly says the Government should honour its election promise to protect workers' leave entitlements.

In addition, a change in the way annual leave is calculated will lessen its value for workers. As well as cashing in the fourth week of annual leave, there is talk of a new formula for calculating sick leave.

Ms Kelly is alarmed the Minister may be considering such changes. She says it will mean some people will not receive the same amount of pay on leave as they would if they worked. Ms Kelly says the CTU will be campaigning hard to protect all leave entitlements.

National wants to reduce holidays. If workers do cash in on their holiday pay, National will eventually say they don't need or want an extra week.

Acknowledgements: © 2009 NZCity, NewsTalkZB

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