||DESCRIPTION OF THE BILL
PROGRESS OF THE BILL
|Domestic Violence Victims’ Protection Act 2018
||The Act provides for:
- flexible working arrangements for employees affected by domestic violence;
- short-term flexible working (2-month or shorter) for employees affected by domestic violence;
- paid domestic violence leave of up to 10 days per annum; and
- a new ground of personal grievance (and duplicated as a human rights complaint) where an employee has been subject to adverse treatment in employment due to being a person who is, or is suspected, or assumed or believed to be, a person affected by domestic violence.
|This Bill was given royal assent on 30 July 2018.
The Act comes into force on 1 April 2019.
|Employment Relations Amendment Bill 2018
||The purpose of this Bill is to restore key minimum standards and protections for employees and to promote and strengthen collective bargaining and union rights in the workplace.
This Bill proposes the following:
- Trial periods will only be available to employers with fewer than 20 employees;
- Vulnerable employees will be entitled to transfer to new employers in a restructuring situation (even where the new employer has fewer than 20 employees) and will be given specified notice of and specified information about the right to elect to transfer to the new employer;
- Employees will be entitled to prescribed rest and meal breaks unless an exemption applies;
- Duty of good faith will require parties to conclude a collective agreement unless there is a genuine reason, based on reasonable grounds, not to;
- New employees will be afforded the same terms and conditions as the applicable collective agreement for the first 30 days of their employment;
- Collective agreements will be required to include rates of pay;
- Unions may require that employers pass on to new employees specified information about union roles and functions;
- Employers will need to disclose to unions new employees’ names and whether or not they want to join the union (unless the employee objects); and
- Unlawful discrimination will include discrimination due to union membership.
|The Bill was introduced on 29 January 2018 and had its first reading on 1 February 2018. It has been referred to the Education and Workforce Select Committee. Submissions were due by 30 March 2018. The Select Committee is expected to report back by 7 September 2018.
|Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Amendment Bill 2018
||The Bill proposes to allow employees in “triangular employment” relationships to:
- be covered by a secondary employer’s collective agreement; and
- to join (with leave from the Authority or Court) a secondary employer to any personal grievance action.
|Submissions on the Bill were due by 11 May 2018. The Select Committee is due to report back by 29 November 2018.
||The Bill proposes to repeal and replace the Privacy Act 1993. The key purpose of the proposed changes are to promote people’s confidence that their personal information is secure and will be treated properly.
||The Bill passed its first reading on 11 April 2018. It has been referred to the Justice Select Committee with submissions due 24 May 2018. The Select Committee is due to report back by 22 November 2018.
|Health and Safety at Work (Volunteer Associations) Amendment Bill
||The Bill proposes to amend the meaning of “volunteer associations” under s17 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 to include associations which employ people for a combined number of no more than 100 hours per week. Widening the definition would mean these organisations would not be classified as a PCBU.
||The Bill passed its first reading on 2 May 2018. It has been referred to the Select Committee which is due to report back on 2 November 2018.
|Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill
||The Bill aims to eliminate gender discrimination and proposes to replace the Equal Pay Act 1972 with more practical and accessible legislation by distinguishing between the following three types of gender discrimination claims and setting out how these must be addressed:
- Equal pay (the same pay for the same work);
- Unlawful discrimination (on terms and conditions of employment other than remuneration); and
- Pay equity (the same pay for work of equal value).
|This Bill lapsed at the end of the parliamentary term in 2017. It was reintroduced as a Member’s Bill on 22 February 2018 and failed at its first reading. A new Bill is expected to be introduced mid-2018.
|Regulatory Systems (Workforce) Amendment Bill 2018
||This Bill proposes to:
- Clarify that if a person is involved in a breach of the Holidays Act 2003 then that person involved can be liable to a penalty;
- Provide Labour Inspectors with broader powers to investigate whether workers are employees or contractors;
- Ensure that a spouse or partner receives parental leave payments where:
- They do not already receive parental leave payments;
- They take permanent primary responsibility of a child; and
- The biological mother has not applied for, or does not qualify for, a parental leave payment.
|This Bill was introduced on 11 July 2018. It is yet to have its first reading.
|Inland Revenue Operational Statement 18/01 on Kilometre Rates
||From 4 July 2018 to 31 March 2019, employers will be able to reimburse employees at a flat rate of 76c/km up from the existing rate of 73c/km.
From 1 April 2019, new kilometre rates apply which are more complex and are calculated based on:
- the kilometres travelled (0-14,000 and 14,000+ or 0-3,500 and 3,500+); and
- the type of engine of the motor vehicle (petrol, diesel, petrol hybrid, and electric).
|The Operational Statement came into force on 4 July 2018 with the increased kilometre rate of 76c/km.
From 1 April 2019, more complex kilometre rates come into force.
|Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016
||These regulations impose additional duties on PCBUs in relation to work involving asbestos. The additional duties now in force include:
- If asbestos or asbestos containing material is identified at a workplace (or is likely to be at a workplace
- from time to time) a PCBU must prepare an asbestos management plan (and review it);
- A licensed asbestos removalist must ensure asbestos removal workers are trained and receive appropriate instructions (and to keep a record of that training);
- All asbestos removalists must hold a Class A (friable and non-friable asbestos) or Class B (non-friable) asbestos removal license;
- Individuals involved in the removal of asbestos must have undertaken applicable training; and
- Companies or individuals overseeing the removal of asbestos are required to be licensed.
|These regulations were introduced on 4 April 2016 but Schedule 1 allowed a 2 year transition for some provisions. These provisions came into effect on 4 April 2018.