Changes to your contract of employment can occur due either to a change in the law or by agreement between your employer and yourself. Still haven't found what you're looking for? Last updated: 8 October 2020 Sometimes employers want to make changes to your terms of employment. If you think your employer is in breach of your contract then first, check the hard copy over and make absolutely sure. A breach of contract can occur if an employer changes a job description without renegotiating with the union. Many employers in New Zealand struggle to keep up with employment law changes. This also means the termination period can be moved forward if the employee on parental leave returns early Consider, and take into account, the responses before any final decisions are made about the business. Its terms cannot lawfully be changed by the employer without agreement from the employee (either individually or through a recognised trade union). My role is a site specific manager role but I am now getting handed duties that my previous boss (ops Manager) was doing including some nationally focussed duties. It’s not an uncommon question. I recently applied for a position which will allow me to progress but is only for 2 years fixed term. Tell the employee when you hope to introduce the new arrangement, provided they agree to it. The basic rule is that an employer cannot change your employment contract without asking you first or providing you with prior notice of the proposed change. An employer cannot hire a fixed term employee without having a good reason. give the employee a reasonable opportunity to seek that advice, and consider any issues that the employee raises and respond to them. An employer is not entitled to unilaterally insert a new clause into an existing employment agreement. Your conditions are recorded in your eVisa, on the visa label in your passport, or explained to you in a letter we sent you. Conditions you can change. My manager will not allow me to do this on secondment therefore I will need to resign my current permanent post for this position even though they will replace my position. You do not have to agree to a trial period. Read the latest on workplace change associated with COVID-19. When a fixed-term contract (an employment contract with an end date) is about to end, the employer can offer the employee a new contract with altered or new employment conditions. If it is a possible outcome that without the changes the employee’s position may become redundant, warn the employee that if an appropriate solution cannot be found, the employee’s position might become redundant. Also if you do not have a written agreement and your agreement is verbal then you have still have rights. The employee should be given a letter with the new employment agreement and stating when it will come into force. Copyright 2017 Three60. Negotiate the change. As a general rule, contractual terms cannot be varied without the consent of both of the contracting parties. Can My Employer Change Me from Hourly to Salary? It contains terms, either 'express' or 'implied', that cannot lawfully be changed or varied without further agreement between you. There are several ways in which employment relationships may be ended, such as resignation, retirement, dismissal or redundancy. An employment contract can take the form of a traditional written agreement that is signed and agreed to by employer and employee. You should review your current policies, procedures and contracts to check whether they comply with the new laws. The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) entitles you to workplace rights as an employee. I have been working for my current employer for 10 years. For existing employees (i.e. There could be clauses written in 'legalese' that you may not understand (indeed, that's essentially the point of legalese) so you might need to hire a lawyer or ask a friend from a legal profession to help. Hello, Can my employer change my job title/role, without ffering a new contract or job description also a salary to meet the requirements of this new position especially if this is a promotion not a demotion. Further, there is an obligation of good faith implied into a contract of employment: see Mahmud v Bank of Credit & Commerce International S.A. [1997] UKHL 23; [1998] AC 20. Workplace change can also be known as restructuring. They can’t tell you to “take it or leave it,” or threaten to fire you unless you agree. Please note that this content will change over time and may be out of date. To do so would run the risk of a personal grievance being raised by you. A contract of employment is a legal agreement between the employer and the employee. You should: consult or negotiate with employees or their representatives (for example from a … Re-negotiating your contract can be a difficult and uncomfortable situation for employees and employers. Employers. If the changes also touch on your salary and other terms or conditions that the employment contract stipulated, suing the employer for a breach of contract with the help of the lawyer would be an excellent idea. You can’t ‘restructure’ to ‘get rid of’ an employment problem – these must be handled in the correct way. Where there is a recognised trade union, this further agreement should be negotiated through collective bargaining. If the employer wants to change an important However, neither you or your employer can change your employment contract without each others' agreement. A contract of employment is a legal agreement between the employer and the employee. If agreement can be reached, the new agreement should be recorded in writing and the employee asked to sign the agreement. Employees in this situation will be “technically redundant” because their employment agreements with the employer who sold the business end at the time of sale, but their employment with the business will continue if they accept the offer of employment. The world doesn’t stand still, it’s constantly moving and so it the environment in which businesses operate. If your contract states your employer can amend any term of the contract, this may be far too wide–ranging and unspecific, so the employer could not change your contract without your agreement. In another example, if you are covered by an employment contract that specifies your job duties, your employer cannot change them without your agreement. Zero-hours contracts In most cases a company that is feeling the pinch and wishes to make cutbacks on certain entitlements such as car allowances, travel allowances, will attempt to make these changes ‘across the board'. New Zealand’s Wages Protection Act requires employers to remunerate workers according to the day, frequency and intervals agreed on in their employment contract. Your employer may ask you to do a 90-day trial in a new job. Examples of genuine business reasons are: Changes of this nature may result in a structural change such as: Employers should take care to document all decisions and reasoning about any change that might result in an employee’s job being significantly changed, or an employee being made redundant. However, the employer cannot withdraw an offer of employment once it has been accepted. Ever wondered if you, as an employer, can lawfully reduce an employee’s salary? Therefore, any delay in payout constitutes a violation. Employees become entitled to annual holidays, public holidays, sick leave, bereavement leave, parental leave and other types of leave as long as they meet certain conditions. What are the … The letter can include any necessary changes to the employment contract, and the employee will be required to consent to these change before the secondment beginning. Where a trade union is recognised, negotiations to change contract terms should be through collective bargaining. those employed on or before 31 March 2016) businesses will have until 1 April 2017 to make any required changes to their employment contracts. An employer can make a change ('variation') to an employment contract if: there's something in the contract that allows the change (usually called a 'flexibility clause') the employee agrees to the change; the employee's representatives agree to the change (for example, a trade union) Changes to employment law mean employers can no longer offer zero-hours contracts. A union plumber can't be expected to paint the bathroom where she is installing fixtures, for example. This article, and any information contained on our website is necessarily brief and general in nature, and should not be substituted for professional advice. If you think your employer is in breach of your contract then first, check the hard copy over and make absolutely sure. Generally speaking, an employer can change a job description whenever it is convenient to the company. Who can apply for a visa using Immigration Online? Read about Hours of work (external link) on the Employment New Zealand website. What are my rights here? This must comply with minimum standards of good faith; this includes giving affected employees information about the suggested change and an opportunity to comment on it. If you have a collective contract, your employer must negotiate any changes with your union. An employer can not vary your agreement without your mutual consent. That is, one party cannot legally change the contract without the consent of the other party. You are entitled to say “no” to a proposed change. Section 343 of the Fair Work Act prohibits an employer from coercing an employee to entering a new employment contract. The Employment Relations Act 2000 provides that when bargaining over a variation to the terms of an individual employment agreement the employer must: The employer must keep copies of a finalised individual agreement, and of intended agreements supplied during bargaining for a variation. If the employee refuses to accept the variation, the employer could make the employee’s position redundant provided it first follows a fair and proper procedure and can show clear evidence of the commercial necessity for the redundancies. Employment contracts that have been negotiated through a union normally contain stipulations that protect the rights of the employee from arbitrary and capricious changes in the conditions of employment. An employer has the right to manage his or her business and the line between the employer’s right to manage, which does not require the consent of an employee (but does require consultation), and a variation of contract, which does require the consent of an employee, can sometimes be hard to draw. Your employer can’t change your contract without your agreement. Join over 11,000 of Australia's most innovative businesses. All about pay, hours at work, record keeping and what breaks employees are entitled to. 3 April 2020, Council of Trade Unions www.union.org.nz Your employer can’t just change your contract • You can’t be given a new working from home employment agreement • Any changes to your current agreement have to be done in “good faith” - you have to have a say, you need to be given time to consider them and seek advice and you Don’t use redundancy as a threat however; only say this if it is actually a reality. Just because an employer wants to change the contract does not mean you have to accept the change. Certain terms and conditions are more protected than others – for example, the wage to be paid and hours of work are clearly important terms of the agreement and the employer cannot unilaterally reduce the employee’s wage rate or hours of work. Reinforce your negotiated agreement can an employer change contract without consultation on the key is there is an independent help your consent. Laws are amended, new legislation gets introduced and the obligations employers have to meet can shift and change. To do so would place the party making the change in … At the meeting, go through the proposed agreement with the employee and explain the reasons for the need for change as far as is reasonable. Can I work for my usual employer remotely while on holiday in New Zealand? Further, you are not obliged to agree with any variation proposed by your employer: see Howtrac Rentals Pty Ltd v Thiess Contractors (NZ) … If it is a reduction in pay or benefits, or a restraint of trade has been put in place, the employer should give some “consideration” to the employee in return for the employee giving something up to ensure that the new agreement is binding. An employee who does not have an agreement prior to beginning work may then bargain on each and every point in the agreement, when that it presented after commencement of employment. It doesn’t matter if new employees have different terms and conditions to existing employees. However, the employer cannot withdraw an offer of employment once it has been accepted. There may come a time at work when you need to check the precise terms of your contract of employment. The Employment Relations Act 2000, section 65(2) sets out the required contents of an employment agreement but otherwise provides section 65(1)(b) that the agreement may contain such terms and conditions as the employer and employee think fit. If an employer changes terms and conditions that are not in the written ... they should tell their employees where to find information about the change. Agree to meet a few days later. Website design & developed by FWeb. See more information on restructuring when there’s a sale or transfer of work. In the meeting, tell the employee what the proposed changes are and provide a copy of the proposed new agreement. Your employer can not force you to change your signed agreement. Employers must be able to show that any proposals that could affect jobs must be for genuine business reasons. Yours sincerely Your Employer. Coercing someone means to use fear, intimidation, force or threats to make someone do something against their will. If there is no mobility clause within your contract of employment your employer would not necessarily be able to force you to move and if he closes the place down where you currently work you may be entitled to a redundancy payment in addition to payment for contractual notice. My employer setup a roster calendar which we've been using for 6 months now. The employment laws on changing a job description favor the employer in most situations. Variation clauses will only generally allow reasonable changes and even if there is a variation clause, if you are unhappy you may still be able to “protest” the change and seek legal advice. I recently applied for a position which will allow me to progress but is only for 2 years fixed term. To do so would run the risk of a personal grievance being raised by you. The workplace change process gives an outline of the process an employer should follow when working through a change. The first consideration for the Court is whether there is a mobility clause in the employment contract which allows your employer to unilaterally change the location of the workplace. Any proposed change or variation to your contract should be negotiated (discussed) with you. My manager will not allow me to do this on secondment therefore I will need to resign my current permanent post for this position even though they will replace my … Only employers with fewer than 20 employees can do this. The process must be fair and equitable. Following the termination, the employer can then offer a new employment contract to the employee that reflects the reduced level of wages. Employers should be able to produce evidence of the need for change, or the identified and stated benefit, if this is required in the process. Employers are entitled in add conditions into their employment agreements with any new employees provided they are on an individual employment agreement. I have recently had marriage problems and depression and was signed off work for three weeks, my marriage then failed and I had to move from London to the Midlands to my family home, as soon as I was aware of this I notified my employer and handed in my notice, advised that it would be difficult to commute but then I was signed off work for a further four weeks anyway. There may come a time at work when you need to check the precise terms of your contract of employment. The best way to prevent and resolve relationship problems between employers and employees. Unilateral changes in a fixed-term employment contract. WHAT IF EMPLOYEES DON’T AGREE TO THE CHANGE? Many union contracts state very explicitly what duties are associated with various positions. Therefore, if an employer coerces you to sign a new contract by threatening to terminate or demote you, or change your employment status, you can make a claim to the Fair Work Commission… You must enable JavaScript to submit this form. Employment agreements that provide for redundancy compensation usually include a clause to say that the employee will not be entitled to compensation if they choose not to transfer their employment in a technical redundancy situation. ® Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, Calculating payments for holidays & leave, Psychometric testing and assessment centres, Things an employment agreement must contain, Offering and negotiating employment agreements, Code of good faith in collective bargaining, Local council Easter Sunday shop trading policies, Problems getting domestic violence rights, Leave and pay entitlements during COVID-19, COVID-19: Guidance for payroll professionals, Employment New Zealand's approach to COVID-19, COVID-19 Workers and Workplaces Assistance Fund, Public, sick, bereavement, alternative pay, Changes to tax legislation for employee share schemes, Holiday and leave entitlement and payment ‘must-knows’, Positive conversations and reaching agreement, What are ethical and sustainable work practices, Demand for ethical and sustainable work practices, End-to-end assurance systems and processes, Identify and minimise labour rights issues, Assessing the impact of structure change on jobs, Restructuring when a business is sold or transferred, The benefits of being a disability confident organisation, Plan to become a disability confident organisation, Disability information and resources for employers, Resources and government support for disabled employees and jobseekers, Employers who breached employment standards, restructuring when there’s a sale or transfer of work, Applying for employment relations education course approval, Wage subsidy and Leave Support: Complaints about employers, Calculating payments for holidays and leave, Employer's approach to assuring ethical and sustainable work practices, Franchisor's approach to assuring ethical and sustainable work practices, Recruiters and employment brokers approach to assuring ethical and sustainable work practices, shifts in customer or market requirements, Before any final decisions are made, circulate the business proposal for change to all employees likely to be affected, Give employees reasonable time to respond, comment and suggest other options. Employers should only use these clauses to vary a contract if they have a good reason, for example the business is struggling financially and needs to cut staff hours. If a business or part of it is to be sold or transferred to another party the employer has to follow a set of rules that apply to the transfer of work. But lowering wages has its risks, including breach of contract claims, unfair dismissal claims, and potential breaches of minimum entitlements. If the re-negotiation is not successful, the employee may either be stuck with an unsatisfactory contract or look for employment elsewhere. Unilateral variations to duties can be justified by the employer if they are broadly within the role for which the staff member was employed. Reinforce your negotiated agreement can an employer change contract without consultation on the key is there is an independent help your consent. If this is not permitted the employee may have a right to a redundancy. Where a proposed change might affect people’s jobs, employers need to include a fair and reasonable consultation process. The employer may be forced to work with an employee who is extremely unhappy. We can help you with that if required. This is especially the case if your employer is trying to change fundamental terms in your contract. Employment Contracts Download employment contract templates for full-time, part-time, fixed term, casual, volunteer and contractor employees from our online HR software. It can be tricky to get employees to agree to changes that they don’t see as necessary. It’s important for employers to use good hiring processes, and for everyone to follow minimum rights and responsibilities. We recommend that you contact us to determine your rights on variations. Further, you are not obliged to agree with any variation proposed by your employer: see Howtrac Rentals Pty Ltd v Thiess Contractors (NZ) Limited [2000] VSC 415, [417]–[424]. new employer can change contract without consultation with the right to claims against you decide to offset any changes to the pool of employment. Employers who follow a careful change process will reduce their chances to claims of: There are standard rules that apply to all change processes, these cover: Employers have a right to make changes to their businesses, and structure their business in the way that they believe will be the most effective to deliver to their customers and their strategy. Finding your visa conditions. A technical redundancy occurs where businesses are sold, but not by sale or transfer of shares, and employees are offered employment by the buyer on substantially the same terms and conditions. This could be because a dispute has arisen between you and your employer, you want to check your entitlements because you are threatened with redundancy or your employer is trying to change your terms for example, in relation to working conditions, hours or pay. Give the employee plenty of time to discuss the matter and tell the employee he or she is entitled to seek legal advice. Changes to a contract of employment. What can I do if my contract has been breached? An employee who does not have an agreement prior to beginning work may then bargain on each and every point in the agreement, when that it presented after commencement of employment. Therefore, if you want to change any terms in your employment contract, you should approach the other party. It is unlawful to unilaterally make changes to an existing employee’s terms and conditions of employment, and therefore the trick is to ensure to get your employee’s agreement. An employment agreement must at least contain the following clauses: It is wise to include many other clauses to this document, as it forms the fundamentals for the employment relationship. If you want to negotiate, talk to your employer before you sign the agreement. Starting a new job is an exciting and challenging time. Some contracts of employment contain a variation clause that can allow your employer to make changes to your contract. This is because of the very simple reason that a Contract of Employment constitutes an agreement between two people, and the one party to the agreement cannot change the terms of that agreement without the consent of the other party. If the employer wants to change an important Contracts of employment form the basis of working relationship between the employer and employee, but if the contract remains unsigned, it does not give either side a chance to change the provisions. Where there is a recognised trade union, this further agreement should be negotiated through collective bargaining. As with most things in life, the bigger the change the greater the anxiety. Any variation to the contract must be done by agreement and in conformity with any provision in the employee’s employment agreement about how the agreement is to be varied. Please confirm your agreement to this change by signing in the space below and returning the signed copy to me no later than 5pm, Tuesday, 20 July 2016. Given the … There could be clauses written in 'legalese' that you may not understand (indeed, that's essentially the point of legalese) so you might need to hire a lawyer or ask a friend from a legal profession to help. There can be many reasons for proposing a workplace change that may affect people’s jobs. 'Restructuring’ does not include the sale or transfer of shares in a company or while the employer is bankrupt, or in receivership or in liquidation. Clear workplace policies and procedures support employment agreements and mean everyone knows how things are meant to be done. Can I do unpaid work while working in New Zealand? It contains terms, either 'express' or 'implied', that cannot lawfully be changed or varied without further agreement between you. The problem is, you cannot simply issue new employment agreements containing different terms and conditions to existing employees. The procedures for how your employer should inform you of any changes to your terms and conditions are set out in the … ... "I've been reading up on the Fair Labor Standards Act, and I don't see how my job can qualify as exempt from overtime. Can my employer change my place of work? This is important information for him/her to know before making their decision as to whether or not to agree to the proposed changes.