The Government now looks likely to make changes to the Health and Safety in Employment Bill after it returns from a Select Committee this Thursday.

The Prime Minister, speaking yesterday at his post Cabinet press conference, particularly singled out provisions which would require organisations using both employees and volunteers as one area that might be changed.

He said he had already made it quite clear that when the Bill comes back from the Select Committee this week Cabinet was going to “toss it around” and “make sure we are happy with the recommendations and settings”.

He likened the process to that which had taken place with the building regulations for earthquake prone buildings where the Government had had”a couple of bites of the cherry”.

“The Health and Safety taskforce came up with some good recommendations, but quite far reaching which we’ll just need to think through before we pass the legislation to make sure it’s workable.”

Asked whether Caucus had expressed concerns about the Bill he said it was an issue that got debated, not just in caucus, “but if I go round New Zealand it’s an issue that gets raised with me.”

“Particularly small businesses are concerned about how it would be administered, would it be fair and how onerous would it be to comply with and would it be effective.”

He said it was something Cabinet would have to consider.

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