Employment (Autumn 2016)
The Employment Standards Legislation Bill has been passed, bringing into effect from 1 April 2016 some important changes to the employment statutes.
These include extending parental leave, spearing zero hour contracts and strengthening compliance with minimum employment standards.
A greater range of people – for example, certain casual workers and seasonal workers, employees with more than one employer and those that have recently changed jobs – will have the opportunity to access paid parental leave, which is up to 18 weeks from 1 April onwards.
The Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act will also extend to a wider range of primary carers than biological or formal adoptive parents.
Employees on paid leave will be able to take ‘keeping-in-touch’ days, enabling them to work limited hours during their paid leave period.
Zero hours contracts and other restrictions
Employers won’t be able to:
- expect employees to be available to work without guaranteeing hours or paying reasonable compensation
- cancel a shift without giving employees reasonable notice and reasonable compensation, both of which must be set out in an employment agreement
- make unreasonable deductions from wages
- unreasonably restrict an employee’s secondary employment
Enforcing minimum employment standards
Focused on ensuring employers pay at least minimum wage and give employees their proper holiday entitlements.
Enforcement measures include a new infringement notice regime, clearer record-keeping requirements, and tougher sanctions for serious breaches such as exploitation.
Check employment records are comprehensive and employment agreements comply with the standards.
If you have any questions or would like further information, please feel free to contact us.