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Proposed Changes To Act Relating To Vulnerable Workers

Published 10 Jul 2013

Vulnerable Workers, Continuity of Employment Part 6A

The Employment Relations Amendment Bill 2013 proposes the following changes to Part 6A of the Employment Relations Act 2000 relating to vulnerable workers, including the provision that incoming employers with 19 or fewer employees will be exempt.

The Bill requires:

•         that employees who will be affected by restructuring notify their current employer, in writing (signed by the employee), of their decision to transfer within 5 working days (or whatever longer time frame is agreed between the outgoing and the new employers) of being advised that they have the right to elect to transfer to the new employer and of being provided with the required information

•        the outgoing employer to provide the new employer with detailed information on the transferring employees as soon as practicable but before the restructuring takes effect. This information includes employment agreements, wages and time records, holiday and leave records, gross earnings, and personnel files (where they exist):

•        employers to negotiate an agreement regarding the apportionment of liabilities for transferring employees’ service-related entitlements, and provides a default apportionment formula for cases where agreement is not reached:

•        that only Parliament can change the classes of employees who have a right to elect to transfer to a new employer:

•        an implied warranty from the outgoing employer to the incoming employer that the outgoing employer has not changed the arrangements of work or the employee’s employment conditions to adversely affect the incoming employer. Breaches of this implied warranty may lead to damages being awarded in the District Court or the High Court:

Source NZ Parliament.