Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed

The Bill has been passed.  Some provisions come into effect on 6 December and the balance on 6 May 2019.

Those with immediate effect are:

  • Unions need consent to enter an employer's premises unless a collective agreement is in force or bargaining has been initiated.
  • Unions can initiate bargaining first.
  • Employers can opt out of MECA bargaining, if they have a good reason.
  • No ability for ERA to order bargaining has concluded.
  • No pay deductions for partial strikes.
  • Reinstatement is the primary remedy for unjustified dismissal.

The following provisions come into effect on 6 May 2019:

  • Employers must pass on union information to new employees.
  • Employers must provide certain information about new employees to unions.
  • Paid time for delegates.
  • Obligation to conclude collective - unless genuine reason not to.
  • Pay rates must be specified in collective agreements.
  • New employees – must be employed on the terms of any applicable collective agreement for the first 30 days.
  • Trial periods – only available to employers with < 20 employees.
  • Meal breaks – prescriptive approach.
  • Part 6A (Transfer of Undertakings) applies to all employers.