Posted on: Apr 26, 2017
New employment standards legislation was introduced last year to give greater protection to employees on “zero-hour” contracts, with no guarenteed hours of work. However, the changes have wider-reaching implications and in one way or another have an impact on almost all employment agreements, particularly regarding:
- Hours of work clauses and availability provisions
- Cancellation of shifts
- Recording of hours worked and breaks taken
- Restrictions on secondary employment
- Deductions from pay
While the amendment took effect on 1 April 2016, it did not, at that time, apply to employment agreements that had been entered into prior to that time — employers were effectively given one year to update those employment agreements to ensure that they comply with the new law.
The deadline for doing so was 1 April 2017. This means that employers still using old employment agreements that contain non-compliant provisions could be subject to personal grievances for unjustified disadvantage, or face penalties. As part of the legislation changes, tougher sanctions can now be imposed for a breach of employment standards. The most significant change is an increase in fines from $10,000 to $50,000 for an individual and from $20,000 to the greater of $100,000 or three times the financial gain for a company.
We have been working with many of our clients to update employment agreements and other relevant documentation, however if you’ve missed the boat on this be sure to contact one of our team members without delay!
This article, and any information contained on our website is necessarily brief and general in nature, and should not be substituted for professional advice. You should always seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters addressed.