Legal Updates

Employment Law Changes

The Employment Relations Amendment Bill 2018 was passed on 5 December. There are 3 stages of changes, taking effect the day after the date the Bill becomes an Act (expected to be this week), 6 months after the date the Bill becomes an Act, and then 6 May 2019.

Of immediate effect will be:

  • Union reps entering workplaces without employer consent;
  • No pay deductions for partial strikes;
  • Compulsory entry into multi-employer collective bargaining;
  • Restoration of reinstatement as the primary remedy where sought by an employee in respect of a personal grievance; and
  • Additional classes of employee that may be added to the 'vulnerable employee' category.

6 months after the date the Bill becomes an Act, sections about discrimination in relation to union membership and involvement in union activities will come into force. These sections strengthen the protection against discrimination for union members and those involved in union activities.

From 6 May, set rest and meal break entitlements are restored, 90 day trial periods will be restricted to employers with 19 or fewer employees and a number of union and collective agreement related changes comes into force.

We’ll be providing more detailed commentary into 2019 but for any queries in the meantime, contact Jaesen.