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Zero hours changes labelled 'total exploitation'

Business leaders and unions have slammed the Government’s proposed changes to zero hour contracts, saying they’ll do nothing to protect our most vulnerable workers.

Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse has announced a number of changes to the controversial agreements on TVNZ’s Q+A, saying there are practices that are "unnecessary and unacceptable for modern working arrangements".

Source: 1 NEWS

He says workers should not be stopped from getting a second job, and should not be expected to be on standby without reasonable compensation.

"Now the law isn't going to be specific about what that reasonable compensation would be because frankly there is a plethora of different scenarios and it's really hard to write a rule for every one of them," Mr Woodhouse says.

Auckland Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Michael Barnett says zero hours should be have outlawed and the changes go "nowhere near protecting those who are most vulnerable".

Council of Trade Unions President Helen Kelly say Minister Woodhouse should stick to his word and get rid of the agreements.

She says it's "total exploitation" and there's still a lot of confusion about what this will mean for workers.

The proposed changes will prohibit unfair practices including:

·         Employers not committing any hours of work, but expecting employees to be available when required

·         Employers cancelling a shift without providing reasonable notice or compensation to the employee

·         Employers putting unreasonable restriction on secondary employment of employees

·         Employers making unreasonable deduction from employees’ wages