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Commonsense could be unlawful under new law

 

 

Media release

8 November 2007

 

Commonsense could be unlawful under new law


Employees who ask informally for changes to their working hours may be acting unlawfully, as a result of a new law set to be passed by Parliament shortly, says Business NZ.

The Employment Relations (Flexible Working Arrangements) Amendment Bill which passed its committee stages in Parliament yesterday, allows employees to make written requests of their employers for a change to their working arrangements in order to discharge caring responsibilities at home. 

Mr O'Reilly said that the requirement to make requests in writing could mean that informal requests would breach the law.

"At present, employers and employees all around the country have a perfectly commonsense approach to changes in working hours – they just discuss it and agree on it informally, person to person.

“Now a written, bureaucratic approach is needed - this is not progress.

“Moreover, with this new law, it may actually be unlawful to do it informally.  This point needs urgent clarification.  We would hate to see confusion in the workplace caused by poorly drafted law.

"The process required by this new law is in fact anything but flexible.  It will be more work than before", he said.

ends
 

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