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The Ardern-Peters Government’s employment law changes will cause significant problems for New Zealand’s tourism industry, National’s Tourism Spokesperson Todd McClay and Workplace Relations Spokesperson Scott Simpson say.

“The tourism sector has rightly put its hand up and said these reforms will make it harder to sustain and grow the sector,” Mr McClay says.

“In particular they have singled out the rest and meal breaks provisions as completely inflexible and unworkable.

“This is a sector made up of a huge variety of businesses that are busy at different times of the day and different days of the week. Requiring everyone to down tools at the same time is impractical for a service sector dealing with international visitors.

“It’s also telling that the tourism industry identifies that the 90 day trial changes will work in exactly the opposite direction than the Government intends,” Mr Simpson says.

“This sector, which employs over eight per cent of New Zealanders, is known for taking on young and new workers and giving them their first jobs. Surely that’s what the Government wants.

“When tourism operators say the law change will make it riskier and less likely for them operators to take a chance on people on the fringe of the workforce, they should be listened to.

“The test will be whether the Government chooses to listen, or whether they have decided they’ll ram these changes through regardless of whether they are good for our country and our workers.”

“The tourism sector is the largest export industry in New Zealand and it’s made up of a huge numbers of mostly small businesses,” Mr McClay says.

“If they haven’t earned the right to have their concerns acted on by central Government, then who has?”

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