Fixed Price Offer! Health and safety gap analysis and employment agreement review
General / 25 October 2016
Recent changes to employment and health and safety law mean that all employers need to update their health and safety plans and employment agreements. We’re offering fixed price reviews of your health and safety plans and employment agreements – contact us for your fixed price and to discuss how we can help you make sure you’re covered in terms of the changes.
Employment law changes:
On 1 April 2016, amendments were made to several key pieces of employment law. The impact of the new law included:
Addressing unfair employment practices such as “zero hour contracts”, by setting requirements for agreed hours of work, “availability” provisions, and cancellation of shifts;
Making wage, time and leave record keeping obligations consistent across all employment laws;
Requiring employers to consult regarding deductions from remuneration, and prohibiting unreasonable deductions;
Restricting unreasonable prohibitions on secondary employment;
Extending paid parental leave to more workers and increase flexibility; and
Strengthening enforcement of employment standards.
All employment agreements issued from 1 April 2016 have to comply with the new legal requirements however, employers have until 1 April 2017 to ensure all their existing employment agreements are amended to reflect the changes to the new law.
Many employers are unclear as to whether they need to amend their current employment agreements. We recommend that employment agreements are reviewed, at least, as many clauses commonly in use including for example “the employee is required to work all additional hours”, “the hours of work will depend on the availability of work and our business demands” or “the employee may not work elsewhere without the employer’s consent” no longer adhere to the current legislative requirements.
Health and safety law changes:
With the recent changes to the health and safety legislation, changes to your current health and safety plan are also likely to be necessary. As a minimum, these should be reviewed in terms of the following areas:
Policy and commitment statement
Roles and responsibilities
Review and auditing processes
Incident and accident recording, investigation analysis and review
Emergency response procedures
Hazard identification and risk management process
Information, supervision and training
Worker communication, engagement and participation
Contractor management processes
Measuring, evaluating health and safety performance
Health and safety management plans are not all created equal. Making sure you are using a plan which is “fit for purpose” and customised to suit your business is crucial to managing your health and safety risk successfully. This is both in terms of practical risk management – i.e. the work your business does is safe and healthy and in terms of managing your legal risk – i.e. you can demonstrate to WorkSafe NZ that you have managed your health and safety risks appropriately.
Contact our team to discuss your fixed price review today. For more information on the changes to the law, see our Copeland Ashcroft Law’s previous articles.