Changes ahead for the Employment Relations Act 2000

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27 March 2013

posted in The Low Down | Employment

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2013 is likely to see further reforms to the Employment Relations Act 2000 (ERA) with the proposed changes anticipated to come into effect in the second half of the year.

One of the key areas of the proposed reforms is greater clarity to aspects of Part 6A of the ERA dealing with certain employees (commonly referred to as vulnerable workers) whose work is affected by restructuring. The proposed changes include an exemption from the provisions of Part 6A for incoming employers with fewer than 20 employees, amendments to the exchange of employment related information between the outgoing and incoming employer, a process for dealing with the apportionment of transferring employees accrued service-related entitlements and additional penalties and compliance orders for non-compliance with Part 6A provisions.

The proposed changes are also expected to amend the collective bargaining regime including empowering the Employment Relations Authority with the ability to declare the end for collective bargaining in certain circumstances, allowing employers the ability to opt-out of multi-employer bargaining, allowing partial pay reductions in cases of partial strike action and removing the current requirement for non-union members to be employed under the terms and conditions of a collective agreement (where one is in force which covers their work) for the first 30 days of employment.

Other changes include amending the duty of good faith in section 4 to align it more closely with the privacy principles in the Privacy Act 1983 following the Employment Court judgment of Massey University v Wrigley and an extension of the right to request flexible working arrangements for all employees, from their first day of employment.

POSTED BY
27 March 2013

posted in The Low DownEmployment

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