Changes to the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2018

The Employment Relations Amendment Act 2018 introduced several employment law changes that aim to improve fairness in the workplace and deliver decent work conditions and fair wages.

Changes to the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2018 effective 6 May 2019:

  • There will now be set rest and meal breaks based on the number of hours worked by the employee, in an attempted to better improve productivity and work safety.
  • 90-day trial periods will now be limited to businesses with 19 or fewer employees.
  • Employees working in specified ‘vulnerable industries’ e.g. cleaning and catering services will now be able to transfer their current contract terms and conditions, regardless of the size of their employer.
  • Parties will not be made to settle a multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) if they are deemed to have a reasonable ground for not wanting to settle.
  • The 30-day rule is also seeing some changes with it now being compulsory for new employees to be employed under terms consistent with the collective agreement for the first 30 days.
  • Collective agreements must include pay rates
  • Union representatives will now be able to enter workplaces without consent, so long as employees are covered under or bargaining towards a collective agreement. Workplaces where this is not the case Union representatives will still need to seek consent.
  • Any information about the role and function of unions will need to be passed from employers to employees.


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