January 2018

The government has announced changes to employment law, some of which are to take place as early as 1 April 2018, and some have been scheduled for 2022. Some of the changes aren't new as they have been in place before, and some changes have been promised under the first 100 days of the new government. 

April 1, 2018. 

  • Minimum Wage will increase to $16.50.

July 1, 2018

  • Paid Parental Leave increases to 22 weeks. 

  • Keeping in touch days will increase to 52 hours. 

July 1, 2022

  • Paid Parental Leave increases to 26 weeks. 

  • Keeping in touch days will increase to 64 hours. 

Other changes under the Employment Relations Amendment Bill that are yet to reach Royal Assent are:

  • Lifting the exemption on small businesses with regard to the sale and transfer of businesses where vulnerable staff will have a right to transfer their employment to the new employer.

  • Restoring employees right to take rest and meal breaks. Exemptions will be allowed for essential services (gas, electric, emergency services, police, ambulance, hospitals etc.

  • Removing the requirement that Unions need permission to enter a workplace. 

  • Restoring the 30-day rule for new employees to workplaces with collective agreements 

  • Restoring the requirement for parties to conclude bargaining. 

  • Removing employers ability to opt-out of bargaining. 

  • Employers must share new employee information with the union unless employee objects.

  • Restoring the limits on 90-day trial periods to businesses with 19 or fewer employees. 

  • Imposing the requirement to provide the reason for dismissal. 

  • Adding 'employee's union membership status or involvement in union activities' to the list of prohibited grounds for discrimination.

  • The primary remedy for a personal grievance will become the reinstatement of employment.