Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Supreme Court Decision - Redundancy


OCS Statement – 10 August 2012

Supreme Court Decision - Redundancy

Yesterday, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in a long running dispute between OCS and the New Zealand Service & Food Workers’ Union (“SFWU”). This dispute related to the right to bargain for redundancy compensation and entitlements where there has been a transfer of undertaking (change of contract situation) and the collective agreement excludes redundancy payments.

This dispute arose out of the change of cleaning contract for Massey University, where OCS successfully took over the contract from the incumbent cleaning companies. This occurred in 2010. At the time of transfer, the contract scope was such that OCS had to perform the contract at significantly reduced hours per person than what had previously been done.

OCS consulted extensively with the SFWU and affected staff to make the necessary workplace changes, and consulted with a view to retaining staff or keeping the potential number of redundancies to a minimum. These negotiations were not successful. Despite statements in the media, OCS did not lock out the affected staff during this process.

When it became clear that redundancies would have to be made, OCS then attempted to bargain with the SFWU, as directed by the Employment Court, in respect of non monetary entitlements. OCS did so in good faith. OCS’s position was that because the collective agreement specifically excluded the payment of redundancy compensation, OCS was not required to bargain this component. The SFWU rejected OCS’s bargaining on non monetary entitlements, as the Union wished only to discuss and bargain for monetary compensation.

Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision vindicates OCS’ position on the right to bargain for monetary compensation when the collective agreement expressly excludes it. The Supreme Court however did state that employers are required to bargain with affected staff for redundancy entitlements other than monetary compensation. In the particular circumstances of this case, that is what OCS did. There is however a need for guidance, either by Parliament or the Courts, as to what “redundancy entitlements” other than monetary compensation are.

The SFWU is claiming in the media that it has secured a “victory” in the Supreme Court. OCS strongly disagrees with this assertion. The SFWU has failed in its principle aim of gaining additional payments for employees by reason of redundancy where compensation has been specifically excluded. Nonetheless, OCS recognises that there are no “winners” when the prospect of redundancy is involved. OCS does not make these decisions lightly and does so only after consultation with affected employees and the Union concerned.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Supermarket Scam, And On Tunisia’s Scrapping Of Democracy

Are we paying too much for our groceries? Hmm. Is the Pope a Catholic? Given that the two Australian supermarket chains that dominate our grocery industry routinely rack up profits in the order of $22 billion annually, that’s a no-brainer. Yet as with New Zealand’s other socio-economic problems created by our 1980s reforms, the practical solutions seem pretty thin on the ground... More>>

 



Government: Bill Introduced To Protect Against Conversion Practices

Legislation has been introduced to Parliament to protect against practices intended to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Welcomes Draft Report On The Retail Grocery Sector

The Commerce Commission’s draft report into the retail grocery sector is being welcomed by Government as a major milestone. “I asked the Commerce Commission to look at whether this sector is as competitive as it could be and today it has released its draft report for consultation,” Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, David Clark said... More>>

ALSO:

Child Poverty Action Group: Poverty Burden For Children Increased Due To Government Neglect - New Report

Poverty, inequity, homelessness and food insecurity are among the burdens which increased for tamariki Māori and other children in the first year of Covid-19 - partially due to Government neglect... More>>



NZUS Council: Welcomes Nomination Of Senator Tom Udall As US Ambassador To NZ

The NZUS Council welcomes the nomination of Senator Tom Udall to the role of US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, NZUS Council executive director Jordan Small said... More>>

BusinessNZ: Visa Extensions Welcomed
BusinessNZ has welcomed the extension of some critical skill visa durations and changes to immigration systems to speed processing. Chief Executive Kirk Hope says move acknowledges advocacy by the hospitality sector, the BusinessNZ Network and others, and comes not a moment too soon.... More>>



Social Development: Government Initiatives Contribute To Fall In Benefit Numbers

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the release of the June quarter Benefit Statistics which show a continuing fall in the number of people receiving a Main Benefit... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels