Greens urge Government MPs to support Health and Safety Bill amendments

Today’s vote on the Health and Safety Reform Bill is the Government’s last chance to show it has a genuine commitment to promoting workplace health and safety, the Green Party says.

“The National Party’s snubbing of yesterday evening’s gathering at Parliament of families of workers who had died on the job, including those from Pike River, was shameful,” said Green Party Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Denise Roche.

“However, today the Government has the opportunity to make amends by supporting opposition amendments that will ensure workers are safer in the workplace.

The Green Party is proposing amendments to:

  • Ensure the health and safety law applies to all people working in homes;
  • Ensure that when more than one employer is on a worksite, they deal with each other in good faith;
  • Enable workers to participate in deciding what group of workers their elected health and safety representatives represent;
  • Enable health and safety representatives to cover a whole workplace, not just workgroups decided by the employer.

The Greens will also be backing amendments put forward by the Labour Party.

“We will be supporting Labour’s proposal to remove the exemption in the Bill for employers with fewer than 20 workers from establishing Health and Safety Committees, and other amendments put forward to improve the Bill,” Ms Roche said.

“Today is the day MPs from the Māori Party, United Future, National and ACT can show they have a genuine commitment to reducing New Zealand’s appalling rate of workplace deaths and injuries.

“I’m urging them to show that commitment by voting for our amendments to strengthen the Bill, rather than being hostage to the National Party’s right wing rump that instigated the watering down of the original Health and Safety Reform Bill, Ms Roche said.