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Your questions answered: Can we change employees’ hours?

By Portner Press on April 15th, 2019
  1. Industrial Instruments
  2. Enterprise Agreements

Q
We are in the process of relocating one of our centres. As part of this relocation, we are extending the operation hours of the centre.

We have 13 part-time employees at our centre. They are all employed under an independent enterprise agreement. The agreement states that any change to part-time hours can only be made by mutual agreement.

The business will be significantly inhibited if we cannot come to a mutual agreement to change hours. Operationally, we can’t recruit to fill voids, as generally the hours requiring coverage are 15 minutes to 2 hours in the morning and afternoon. We obviously do not want to make redundancies.

Is there any other lawful option available to us to change these part-time hours, should we not be able to do so by mutual agreement?

A
No, you are not able to change an employee’s hours without their consent.

You could require employees to work additional hours to cover the extended operating hours, provided that this is reasonable. As you have an enterprise agreement in place, this will likely require you to pay employees for the additional hours worked.

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