SUMMARY OF AMENDMENTS
■ Restoration of statutory rest and meal breaks — limited exception for workers in essential services who cannot be replaced (such as air traffic controllers).
■ Restriction of 90-day trial periods to SME employers (fewer than 20 employees).
■ Reinstatement will be the primary remedy to unfair dismissal.
■ Further protections for employees in “vulnerable industries” (Part 6A), repealing the SME exemption from coverage, provide more time for employees to decide whether to transfer to a new employer, and provide greater safeguards on transfer of inaccurate information.
Collective bargaining and union rights
■ Restoration of the duty to conclude bargaining unless there is a good reason not to.
■ Restoration of the earlier initiation timeframes for unions in collective bargaining.
■ Removal of the MECA opt out where employers can refuse to bargain for a multi-employer collective agreement.
■ Restoration of the 30-day rule where for the first 30 days new employees must be employed under terms consistent with the collective agreement.
■ Repeal of partial strike pay deductions where employers can garnish wages for low level industrial action.
■ Restoration of union access without prior employer consent, at reasonable times, and places having regarding to business continuity, health and safety.
■ Requirement to include pay rates in collective agreements.
■ Requirement for employers to provide reasonable paid time for union delegates to represent other workers.
■ A requirement for employers to pass on information about unions in the workplace to prospective employees along with a form for the employee to indicate whether they want to be a member.
■ Greater protections against discrimination for union members, including an extension of the 12 month threshold to 18 months relating to discrimination based on union activities and new protections against discrimination on the basis of being a union member.