Have you reviewed your employment agreements?
Commentary by Tony McKone, Director McKone Consutlancy - 4 June 2016
With the recent changes to the Employment Relations Act 2000 that came into effect on 1 April 2016, you have until 31 March 2017 to review and update your individual employment agreements to ensure that they comply with those changes.
How do you know if you need to review your individual employment agreement?
The first starting point is your hours of work clause. If you do not specify the hours of work, then you probably have a zero- hours employment agreement, and such agreements are no longer legal. On and from 1 April 2016 it was illegal to employ an employee on a zero-hours agreement. So if you have one of these, you need to replace it.
You should the specify the minimum guaranteed hours of work for your employees. You also need to specify what the employee will be paid for those minimum hours and what rate of pay will apply to any agreed additional hours of work.
If you require your employees to be available to work for more than the minimum hours of work, then you need to review your agreement. This is called a requirement provision and for it to be enforceable it needs to also provide for compensation to your employees for making themselves available to work those additional hours.
Also look at your public holidays clause. If this also requires employees to be available to work on public holidays, then this too would be considered a requirement clause and will need to be reviewed.
If your employment agreement contains shift rosters, then you need to review your agreement to ensure that it provides for a notice period for the cancellation of a shift and what compensation applies if a shift is cancelled without giving that required notice.
Another indicator that your employment agreement needs to be reviewed is if you haven’t updated its content for more than two years.
Whilst you have until 31 March 2017 to update your individual employment agreements, I strongly suggest not waiting until then to do so. If you are employing staff now, you need to provide them an individual agreement that is fully compliant with the new legislation. McKone Consultancy can update your employment agreement template now to ensure it is fully compliant.
If you would like an obligation free consult on whether or not your individual employment agreement needs to be updated, contact Tony today on 027 698 2123.