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Crucial Legal Win For Wellington Bus Drivers

The decision by the Employment Relations Authority that the definition of “work period” is the time between a driver starting and finishing their work regardless of split shifts or other arrangements over this period has been welcomed by the Wellington Tramways Union.

The decision overrules current practice at Wellington’s Tranzurban passenger bus companies (both fully owned by Tranzit NZ) and has significant implications for drivers’ break entitlements at the company and throughout the industry.

Union Secretary Kevin O’Sullivan says he is pleased with the decision. “It’s bad enough that these split shifts create long and fatiguing workdays for drivers throughout the industry but taking away break entitlements compounds that fatigue.

“We’re very pleased that commonsense has prevailed, if splitting shifts were allowed to eliminate break entitlements it would have opened the door to multiple splits removing all breaks.

“This confirmation of the law will go some way to making drivers’ workload more manageable and will curb some of the poor behaviour we’ve seen throughout the industry.”

The full decision is available here.

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