Workers around the country have had their rights to guaranteed hours confirmed in a very clear decision by a full bench of the Employment Court. The decision in favour of the Postal Workers Union against NZ Post strengthened the employment law changes that saw “zero-hour” contracts banned.
“Unite union was very proud to have led the campaign against these practices and congratulates the Postal Workers Union on their victory,” says Unite National Secretary Gerard Hehir
The message for workers is very clear according to Unite:
“You do not have to work any more than your guaranteed hours each week.”
“For employers, it is equally clear: If you need your employees to be available for work, you need to either guarantee them those hours or negotiate additional compensation for the extra availability.
“Now all workers can have confidence that their hours of work are what they agree to – not what their boss wants them to do week to week. We have seen many examples, especially in the hospitality industry, where workers are guaranteed a very few hours, as few as four a week, but expected to work thirty to forty hours a week.
“The problem is that the employer can drop weekly hours to just four anytime they like. While workers are free to agree to work more hours, this judgement makes it crystal clear that they have the absolute right to go home if they have completed their guaranteed hours in any week”.
Unite is advising all workers – part-time, full-time, waged or salaried – to check their employment agreements and confirm how many hours each week they are guaranteed. If they are regularly working more hours each week and want more security then they should ask their employer to increase the guarantee.