Employment Standards Provisions Force
New employment standards legislation was introduced last year to give greater protection to employees on “zero-hour” c…
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The Employment Relations (Allowing Higher Earners to Contract Out of Personal Grievance Provisions) Amendment Bill passed its first reading on 22 March 2017.
On 18th April 2017, Health Minister Jonathan Coleman announced that some of the health sector’s lowest paid workers will share in a $2 billion pay equity settlement over five years.
In accordance with the Wages Protection Act 1983, an employer may make deductions from wages payable to an employee for any lawful purpose with the employee’s written consent. Written consent includes consent in a general deductions clause in the relevant employment agreement, or on the employee’s written request. Under s 5A of the Act, an employer must not make a deduction, however, if that deduction is unreasonable.
“Migrant workers make a valuable contribution to our workforce and have the same rights as any other worker,” Mr Woodhouse says.
Among other interesting things, in this recent case the Employment Court closely examined remedies, and in particular the effect of s 124 in reducing remedies to account for an employee’s contributing behaviour. In other words, where the employee’s behaviour or conduct (the actions of the employee) contributed towards the situation that gave rise to the personal grievance, then the amount of remedies awarded may be reduced accordingly. Actions that would normally result in a reduction in remedies are those which may be categorised as being “culpable” or “blameworthy”.