Employment Law Changes 2019 – FAQs
What if I have 22 employees when the 90-day trial takes effect, but some of them are ‘casuals’?
The new laws around 90-day trials will mean that you must employ fewer than 20 employees at the time in which the parties to an agreement, enter into a 90-day trial arrangement. With a genuine casual worker, the view is that each new offer and acceptance of a casual shift or period of work is regarded as a new period of employment – once the shift/period of work is completed, they are no longer an employee until another offer (and acceptance) has been made. You will need to make sure that any casual staff members at this time are genuinely casual; working intermittent and irregular hours with no prior expectation for further employment.
In regard to rest and meal breaks, what if I have a sole charge employee and can’t close the store?
The law will require all employees to take their breaks at the times mutually greed upon between the parties. This means that there will be some freedom to contract and agree to breaks at less busy periods of the day. You could reasonably restrict the employee to having to remain in store and to serve customers where necessary, as there is a restriction on them – you could elect to pay them right through depending on the situation.
What if I have already entered into a 90-day trial period with an employee when the changes take effect?
This is does not matter. The 90-day trial was a lawful agreement at the time of entering into it.
Are the Domestic Violence Leave provisions separate from sick leave et al.?
Yes, they are. The Domestic violence Leave Provisions will be a separate entitlement in their own right. However, the eligibility criteria for the leave and flexible working arrangements are very similar to pre-existing criterion in The Holidays Act 2003 and The Employment Relations Act 2000.
Do I need to make an amendment to employees’ contracts to show the changes to minimum wage and rest and meal breaks?
Yes. It is good HR practice to do this, it also will ensure compliance with The Employment Relations Act 2000, and reduce chances of contractual disputes.
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