As memories of holidays fade and we look towards planning for a new year, there are a number of changes and developments in workplace law that HR and IR managers need to be aware of. The obligation to consult about changes to rosters and hours of work is potentially a very significant change for employers, especially those in fast-paced environments who require their employees to operate flexibly and with regular changes to their rosters and hours or work. The Fair Work Act 2009 now requires awards and new enterprise agreements to include a term that requires employers to consult with employees about changes to their regular roster and ordinary working hours. If bound by such a term, employers will need to:
- provide information to employees about the change;
- invite employees to give their views about how the impact of the changes; and
- consider any views given by the employees.
The obligation is broad – requiring consultation on any change to rosters or hours. HR and IR managers will need to make sure that they comply with any such obligations when businesses are implementing workplace change, and carefully consider the nature of any term they might agree to include in an enterprise agreement.