Nsw part-time test case

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Nsw part-time test case

The State Commission has exercised its own initiative under the State Act to call on the State part-time test case for listing on 5 December 1996.

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The State Commission has exercised its own initiative under the State Act to call on the State part-time test case for listing on 5 December 1996.

The part-time work agreement provisions under the NSW Industrial Relations Act 1996carry forward, broadly speaking, the part-time work agreement provisions which existed under the former Industrial Relations Act 1991.

The part-time work agreement provisions allow an employee, with the employer’s agreement, to work on a part-time basis contrary to any provision of an award or agreement which limits or restricts the circumstances or terms upon which part-time work may be performed.

The three main award or agreement restrictions which the workplace parties may seek to avoid by using the part-time work provisions are where:

  • the relevant award or agreement imposes quotas on the number of workers who may work part-time;
  • the relevant award or agreement imposes unsuitable maximum or minimum hours of work; and/or,
  • the relevant award or agreement does not provide for part-time work at all.

However, a number of substantial amendments have been made to the provisions as they existed under the 1991 Act because of the Government’s belief that a number of employers had abused those provisions.

The principal amendments made to the part-time work provisions by the 1996 Act are:

  • a copy of the agreement must be lodged with the Industrial Registrar;
  • the Commission to hold a Test Case to set parameters for part-time work agreements; and,
  • the Commission is empowered to deal with industrial disputes concerning
    part-time agreements.

The part-time work agreements Test Case will establish minimum and maximum hours of employment that can be provided for in a part-time work agreement. Other issues likely to be raised by the Test Case include minimum time between shifts and provisions to ensure that the agreement has not been entered into under duress.

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