Union claims McDonald's broke 'zero hours' law

Unite Union claims McDonald's is not following the law banning the use of "zero hour" contracts in the country.
FAIRFAX NZ

Unite Union claims McDonald's is not following the law banning the use of "zero hour" contracts in the country.

The Unite Union says it will take legal action against McDonald's after a 19-year-old was not rostered on for work for three weeks in a row.

The union claims McDonald's has failed to follow the law which was introduced to ban the use of "zero hour" contracts in the country.

One worker and union member, Stacey Postlewaight, has been backpaid $1200 after not being rostered on for three consecutive weeks.

Stacey Postlewaight, has been backpaid $1200 after not being rostered on for three consecutive weeks.
CHRIS GORMAN/FAIRFAX NZ

Stacey Postlewaight, has been backpaid $1200 after not being rostered on for three consecutive weeks.

The union said the McDonald's in West Auckland removed her from the roster after she got a second job and had reduced availability.

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It claimed the McDonald's should have rostered Postlewaight on for 24.5 hours a week under the collective agreement.

"This sort of thing used to be more common with fast food companies casually making dramatic cuts to worker's hours or taking them off the roster completely in response to worker's wanting to reduce their availability to work for them," the union said.

"Now workers can reclaim backpay if they are rostered less than their secure hours number."

United said it was taking legal action against McDonald's after finding the fast-food chain was putting many new staff on three-hour minimum contracts.

It also claimed McDonald's was refusing to pay compensation for being available to work additional shifts and was refusing to commit to offering shifts to existing workers before hiring new staff.

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"Unite union members and delegates working at McDonald's are advised to keep a close eye on their secure hours numbers and understand their rights to reclaim backpay if they are rostered less than that number."

In October, the union amended its collective agreement to put an end to "zero hours" at KFC, Pizza Hut, Starbucks and Carls Jr.

The fast food chains had been criticised for signing workers up to agreements that do not guarantee any hours.

This came after a law change this year that sought to regulate the extent to which an employer can require a worker to be available for work without a guarantee of work.

As of April 1, employers have been required to state any agreed hours of work in an employer's contract.

They do not have to specify any set hours if both parties agree not to.

 - Stuff

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