Youth Rates Bill becomes law and Flexible Working Hours Bill one step closer

David CameronTwo important employment law bills passed crucial stages towards becoming law last night.

The Minimum Wage (New Entrants) Amendment Bill passed its third reading at parliament and now only awaits the formality of the Governor General’s signature before it becomes law.

This means that from 1 April 2008 16 and 17 year old workers will be paid the minimum adult wage once they have completed three months or 200 hours of work with any employer, whichever period is the shorter. If they are supervising or training other workers they will also be paid the adult wage.

The Flexible Working Hours Bill passed its second reading with the support of many family and community groups and union such as Finsec. Now it only needs to pass one more reading to become law.

The Bill’s author, Sue Kedgley quoted the leader of the British Conservative Party, David Cameron, last night arguing that flexible work is good for business, and is the key to increasing productivity and modernising the workplace.

“The vital thing to understand is that flexible working should not be seen as a burden on business but as a powerful tool which, used intelligently, offers a route to competitive advantage and commercial success. Far from being a threat or some new corporate fad, it’s a hard headed response to new realities.”

Kedgley continued, in her speech, to note:

“It’s not just the UK that has embraced flexible working hours. Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands all provide employees with a legal right to request flexible working or to reduce their working hours. 90% of 8000 companies surveyed in Europe said they made flexitime available to their employees. 90%!”

(thanks to Russell C for the photo)


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