Employment law changes
Since 1 April 2019, the Domestic Violence – Victims Protection Act 2018 has imposed new obligations on employers under employment legislation (The Holidays Act 2003 and the Employment Relations Act 2000) and the Human Rights Act 1993.
Employers must provide up to 10 days per year of paid domestic violence leave. Employees may take this leave as needed in order to deal with the effects of domestic violence. Employees who are victims of domestic violence can ask for short-term changes to their employment terms; employers must consider these urgently.
A number of significant law changes have been incorporated into the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2018. Many of these changes will take effect from Monday, 6 May 2019, including:
• 90-day trials: 'large employers', those with 20 or more employees, will not be able to use the 90-day trial period, although it's still available to employers with 19 or fewer employees. Probationary periods are still allowable;
• Rest and meal breaks: the legislation provides minimum allowances for rest and meal breaks. Employers and employees are free to agree on when these will be taken; if there's no agreement, these breaks must be evenly spaced during the work day;
• 'Reinstatement' has been restored as the 'primary remedy' for grievances claiming unjustified dismissal, and
• Significant changes for employers who use collective agreements.
As always with employment law matters, do tread carefully as there are significant penalties for employers who get it wrong. If in any doubt, please don't hesitate to contact us.