Health and Safety at Work (Volunteer Associations) Amendment Bill – First Reading – Video 2

Health and Safety at Work (Volunteer Associations) Amendment Bill – First Reading – Video 2


which to me that emotion be agreed to I call Kirika methanol tea thank you very much it is indeed a great pleasure to speak and provide this governments will this party the Labour Party’s perspective on the health and safety at work volunteer associations a member I’d like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the member harder to hip hung all for putting forward this bill and her good fortune and getting it pulled out of the ballot like take her word that this is well intended however it is a poorly drafted bill that actually misses the point the framing of the opening address was to make this bill about volunteer organizations to acknowledge the fact that volunteer organizations across the country are struggling to recruit volunteers this is fear I’m a volunteer myself as I am sure many on the opposition benches and the government benches are throughout my life I have worked in many volunteer organizations and they have all struggled to recruit people that were are willing to give up their time and to volunteer their services to their community and the organization but the solution to that issue is not what is being proposed today it is simply not acceptable that we create a distinction that some workers can be exempt from the protections of health and safety in the workplace while others continue to enjoy them it should not matter whom your employer may be you should have the same protections and provisions the rest of us enjoy whilst you are an employment it does not matter if you work for a small community organization or indeed a large corporation there should be no meddling from government or Parliament I should say to make meddling into the predictions that we enjoy in terms of health and safety there is the fundamental point here in this Labor Party’s opposition to this bill that no worker should go to work with less provisions and less protections than the rest of us enjoy what is being proposed here essentially removes those employed by volunteer associations up to a hundred hours a week so essentially two-and-a-half full-time equivalents and away from worker status in the health and safety at work volunteer associations amendment bill so madam Speaker I had a look at the bill I’ve got it here what this bill would do is create a very strange wee loophole in the act with volunteer associations and those that work for them are exempted from pretty basic provisions and if you’ll allow me madam Speaker to read I want to just point this out to the house the primary duty akia to ensure that as far as reasonably practicable that they ensure the health and safety of their workers and others at section 36 they’d be exempted from a ban on levying workers for health and safety charging them to provide protective equipment or requiring workers to provide their own section 27 they would be exempt from a duty to engage with workers on health and safety section 58 it’s important to note that what is reasonably practicable for an organization to do includes a consideration of all relevant matters and that this will include the resources available to an organization madam Speaker we simply cannot allow those workers that work for these organizations to be exempt from such pretty basic provisions there’s also a ban there would be an exemption on a ban on requiring workers to avoid work where they do not have the required qualifications or authorization to do that work that is of great concern because these employees would not be considered workers under the Act they are also exempt from for exam all duties to take reasonable care for their own health and safety all that of others or to follow reasonable instructions relating to health and safety 1645 and also exempted from the ability to refuse to carry out unsafe work let’s just consider that for a moment that a worker regardless of whether they are employed by a large organization or a community volunteer group should have the ability to refuse to carrier unsafe work but the implication of this bill as it is written and as it is proposed would remove that right from workers for volunteer organizations there’s absolutely unacceptable in New Zealand in 2018 that some workers in this country can be forced to carry out unsafe work there is no way that the Labour Party with our proud history of ensuring workers rights can AB support such a bill that would take away such a right in this in the original bill madam Speaker the health and safety at work volunteer associations bill sorry the health and safety work 2015 Act a volunteer association is defined as a group of volunteers whether incorporated or unincorporated working together for one or more community purposes where none of the volunteers whether alone or jointly with any other volunteers employs any person to carry out the work of their volunteer Association if we want to ensure that people have the time and the capacity and the ability to volunteer this is not the way to go about it the question of volunteering associations having PCBU duties was actually fully discussed at the select committee at the time of the health and safety at Work bill and 2015 the exclusion of volunteer associations that do not employ any workers repeated the position under the former health and safety and Employment Act 1999 now there were submissions madam Speaker on the hsw bill words similar proposals to the current members bill in terms of increasingly employee threshold for volunteer associations these were not accepted if we’ve been here before in a bill that the government the previous government brought through went through select committee this exact issue was brought up considered and discussed by that members very own party we’ve we’ve also been before madam Speaker is when we start to meddle with exclusions around access to basic health and safety provisions and I asked news of this house perhaps those members on my own side might remember the last time that the National Party meddled with health and safety we ended up with the worm farm debacle I wonder madam Speaker if people members in this house remember when the National Party proposed that worm farming was more dangerous than farming than agriculture industry this is an absolute nonsense there is a provision in a prayer a principle at place here the worms do bite mr. little you’re right I didn’t consider that I guess perhaps a bucket may have been tipped on somebody’s head but the fact is once again there is a principle that stake here madam Speaker no one regardless of what the job is or whom they work for should go to their work having less protections for health and safety than anyone else we expect a basic level of protection and this bill takes it away it proposes to take it away for those organizations that would hire a worker up to two and a half full-time equivalents madam Speaker I’ve been advised that work safe is not aware of any particular issues with volunteer or community associations having unreasonable obligation placed on them or compliance issues with regard to their health and safety requirements life would be easier if there were no regulations life would be easier if there were no rules but just because you don’t like them doesn’t mean you should remove them because we’re talking about the health and safety of people that work for a living it is totally unacceptable that we could even consider supporting even though I acknowledge it has good intentions the implications perhaps unintended of this bill are not acceptable the factors madam Speaker that the Labor Party would not be supporting this bill and taking every opportunity to speak strongly opposing it because madam Speaker once again we cannot undermine the simple rights and privileges that workers have fought over generations to preserve in this country and the Labor Party once again will be standing up for those workers men and speaker madam Speaker Karen McNulty is actually now sort of carved there with a reputation of the full of

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