Im­por­tant em­ploy­ment law changes

Kapi-Mana News - - OUT & ABOUT - ALAN KNOWSLEY

em­ploy­ment agree­ment, the agreed hours of work in­clud­ing de­tail on: Num­ber of guar­an­teed hours. Days of the week on which work is to be per­formed. Start and fin­ish times. Any flex­i­bil­ity in days/times.

Zero hours con­tracts have been re­stricted.

If an em­ploy­ment agree­ment pro­vides that the em­ployee will be avail­able for work, the ‘‘avail­abil­ity’’ pro­vi­sion re­lates only to hours in ad­di­tion to the guar­an­teed hours. The em­ployer must have gen­uine rea­sons for in­clud­ing an avail­abil­ity pro­vi­sion and for the num­ber of hours spec­i­fied and must pro­vide rea­son­able com­pen­sa­tion for the em­ployee be­ing avail­able for those ex­tra hours.

In de­cid­ing if there are gen­uine rea­sons the fol­low­ing must be con­sid­ered:

If it is prac­ti­ca­ble to meet busi­ness de­mands with­out an avail­abil­ity pro­vi­sion.

The num­ber of hours the em­ployee is re­quired to be avail­able.

The pro­por­tion of those hours to the agreed hours of work.

In de­cid­ing what is rea­son­able com­pen­sa­tion un­der the avail­abil­ity pro­vi­sion, fac­tors that must be taken into ac­count in­clude:

The num­ber of hours the em­ployee is re­quired to be avail­able.

The pro­por­tion of those hours to the agreed hours.

Any re­stric­tions that arise from the avail­abil­ity pro­vi­sion.

The rate of pay for work avail­able for.

If paid by a salary, the amount of the salary.

Em­ploy­ees may agree that their salary in­cludes com­pen­sa­tion for avail­abil­ity. They can refuse work if there is no proper com­pen­sa­tion pro­vi­sion.

It is un­law­ful for a worker to be ad­versely treated for re­fus­ing to per­form work if there is no com­pen­sa­tion pro­vi­sion.

Ad­verse treat­ment is given a wide mean­ing and in­cludes the terms of em­ploy­ment, con­di­tions of work, fringe ben­e­fits, train­ing, pro­mo­tion, trans­fer, dis­missal or ac­tion that causes an em­ployee to re­tire or re­sign.


Per­sis­tent of­fend­ers can be fined up to $100,000, have to pay com­pen­sa­tion and/or be banned from be­ing an em­ployer, be­ing an of­fi­cer of an em­ployer and/or be­ing in­volved in hir­ing or em­ploy­ment of em­ploy­ees.

The ban can be up to 10 years. Any­one breach­ing a ban can face a fine up to $200,000 or three years in prison or both.

To make sure em­ploy­ers per­son­ally pay the fines it is un­law­ful to take out in­surance against fines.


Work­ers have fought hard to im­prove zero hours con­tracts.

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