Nicholls: Put bite in ERT law

New Government Senator Gregory Nicholls is calling for legislation governing the Employment Rights Tribunal (ERT) to be strengthened as it cannot compel employers to pay monetary awards.

Delivering his maiden speech in the Senate yesterday a few hours after being sworn in, Nicholls, a lawyer who specialises in employment law, said the COVID-19 pandemic had brought to the fore the weaknesses in the ERT.

“The tribunal to my mind needs to have some institutional teeth to enforce its judgement and awards, because we have employers, particularly those employers in the construction sector, that do not honour the awards of the Employment Rights Tribunal and there is no enforcement mechanism to enforce the awards made by the tribunal,” he said.

He said in a recent case the employer did not even show up. (MB)


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